Bicycle culture and urban design: How the bicycle can shape the city?

In what follows is presented a series of abstracts for coming papers tackling the topic of bicycle culture of cities in contemporary urban design.

Paper 1:  Cultural and Social Factors Effecting Cycling in European Cities

by Jelena Solarov

In order to make a sustainable urban tissue we need to push towards a cleaner, healthier, and more efficient mode of transportation. This concept of ‘healthy’ urban environment is directly connected with a promotion of cycling. By improving infrastructure for active transportation and community-wide promotional activities, architects, urban planners and other specialists can make merely a first step. Therefore, many political, cultural, and social measures must be implemented to establish cycling culture. According to many studies, Europe has a well developed network of active transportation in comparison with other parts of the world. On the other hand, the awareness for this necessity among citizens varies a lot from country to country and from city to city. The usual question concerning this problem is why people from countries like Denmark or Netherlands have bigger percentage of bicycle users than others? Through study cases of different European cities, the comparison between people habits connected with bicycles has been established. This analysis helps to understand the importance of cultural and social factors that affect transportation policies. No matter how well physical interventions for promoting an activity like this are implemented inside city, the local culture will always shape experiences and understandings of cycling.

Keywords: ‘healthy’ city, cycling, local culture, habits, social factor.

Paper 2: It Is Like Riding A Bicycle: Between Enthusiasm And Infrastructure

by Matteo Sbordi

Bicycles first saw their invention around half 19th century and so far their presence in villages, towns and cities has increased crucially to such a degree that municipalities cannot ignore bikers exigencies while planning infrastructure. After comparing articles from Italian and foreign journalists about this topic, the author, a young Italian architect focuses his attention on how certain cities have changed their road net transit-ability in order to ease the use of bikes in everyday commuting . Geographical and climate conditions are determining for the massive spread of cycling citizens, together with local people’s awareness of livability of the two-wheels use. The author examines how some western old cities have inverted the tendency to surrender to motorized traffic in favor of bike transport, so that the quality of environment and citizens health improves. Cyclist and pedestrian safety is another aspect pointed out in the article, which analyzes the quality of road surface as well as bike depots set in major knots around the city. Cycling education programs and a proper equipment seem to be essential to the compatible coexistence. Furthermore, the author considers the present situation of Italian historical centers made up of narrow streets, shared by cars and bicycles and he proposes possible solutions for a better practicability.  Moreover, the author explores the facilities spread in the neuralgic areas which impact the city look, that is bicycle racks, indoor and outdoor bicycle parking, bicycle-sharing depots, bicycle rental and repair points. Finally, he considers the long-term changes in the city look due to an effective passage from a prominent motorized traffic city to a sustainable leg-strength power one in terms of socialization, air and building facades pollution, proper road conditions, and traffic lights decrease.

Key words:  Livability, safety, sustainability, socialization, infrastructure.

Paper 3:  Roads were built for two wheels

by  Heba Ahmed Mohamed Youssef

Zipping around urban areas by bike can be an obstacle for cyclists having to dodge tram tracks. Despite calls for more people for cycling rather than driving to reduce CO2 emissions can be impossible  due to inadequate infrastructure. To help make planning cycling trips easier, cities must develop the Bicycle Stress-Map,  Regarding some characteristics like traffic speed and volume, the number of lanes in a road, parking turnover, an intersection on the road and more. The map is very user-friendly and allows riders to seek routes that have possibly low stress routes. The first section discusses various measures taken by the cities on the roadway to make cycling easier. Aspects of infrastructure may be viewed as either cyclist-hostile or as cyclist-friendly. The second section explores measures to encourage cycling include traffic calming, junction design, traffic signals to recognize cyclists and give them a priority, lane properties and cycling facilities. Good engineering judgment based on deep knowledge of bicycle transportation should be a part of bike way design. The concluding section highlights cycling culture in which biking may only be a hobby or sport and bike commuting is often a statement or choice.  In Italy for instance, bikes are often a primary means of transportation. Low and high cycling contexts set by the associations of cycling with different social identity; like gender and class. The mobility literature, with its strong qualitative focus on meaning provides a starting point.

Keywords: Stress-map, bike lanes, friendly, traffic, culture.

Paper 4:  Bicycle Sharing as an urban mobility system

by  Mohamed Adel Mohamed Rifaat Wageh

 Cairo has a radical transformation in the usage of bicycles as a transportation mode, the city ideology changed in the last few years as the usage of the bicycle became for youth sport in urban city, products deliveries in districts scale, and for small projects like fast food and light services. In a similar city in developing country using bicycle was for not have the ability of having car, that’s create an extreme auto dependency increasing aggravating of the urban environments problems in the metropolitan Cairo region, in different aspects of quality of life; physical, social and psychological (Maarseveen, M 2012). It has become very inevitable to use human centric mobility modes such as bicycling, as the need for active environment by improve the non-motorized transportation modes through the city planning. Improving the bike-ability in the street infrastructure, especially in a historical centre fabric – as it is eligible by having the roots – would have great effect on urban planning and public health (Fathy, S 2015). Therefore, more research needs to examine the possibilities of transforming existing streets in Cairo, to know what the main parameters missed or needed to improve. Particularly the bicycle sharing or public-use bicycles as it is used in a lot of developed countries. This Paper will discuss and analyse one typology of urban fabric of Cairo historical center, showing the existing problem, potentials, and making a comparison with previous expertise’s such as the case of Sapporo, Japan by evaluation and improvement on bicycle-friendly environment in the urban center (Mitanoska, A 2012). Also, the effect of shared bicycle programs on the city of cyclists, Copenhagen (Gössling, S 2013). Based on that, it will present possible bicycle infrastructure solutions on the chosen pattern and transportation grid. The outcome is in the form of an analysis on one of urban street type, and how they can be transformed to promote bicycle urbanism by design.

Keywords: Bicycle,developing countries, non-motorized transport, PUBs.

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