From ‘green wave’ traffic lights and majestic harbour bike bridges to digital countdowns and foot rests at junctions, the Danish capital is full of clever ideas to improve city cycling...
Via Bentejui Hernández Acosta
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In order create what will someday be a large green network, local authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes; this is expected to smooth inner city traffic flow.
To live in this age is an exciting time. The technological advances have accelerated communication around the world, and in effect, a shifting of resources to more sustainable alternatives continue to be implemented at an increasing rate. Who knew thirty or even fifty years ago that cars would so quickly go out of fashion in favor of more sustainable, alternative modes of transportation?
Yet this is exactly what is happening in the German town of Hamburg. The city council recently disclosed it has plans to divert most of its cars away from the city’s main thoroughfares in twenty years. In order create what will someday be a large green network, local authorities are to connect pedestrian and cycle lanes; this is expected to smooth inner city traffic flow.
The Netherlands is known for its bicycle-friendly streets and bike paths, but even this bike leader has intersections that are excessively large and centered too much around cars. In the case of one such intersection between Eindhoven and Veldhoven, planners and designers created the Hovenring, a beautiful bicycle and pedestrian roundabout elevated above the roadway.
San Francisco is a hotbed of innovation around networked, shared transportation, where one can use app-based services to fetch a ride (Uber), find parking (SFPark) and gain access to just about everything with wheels—from cars and rides to scooters and bikes.
Now a new pilot program, dubbed “Dash,” changes that paradigm by bringing 21st Century networked mobility to a quintessential 1970s environment: the suburban business park.
The initiative uses 30 small electric cars on loan from Toyota to City CarShare, a Bay Area non-profit. The EVs will be positioned throughout a residential and business development where 18,000 people work, and 4,000 people live. When fully deployed, residents will be no more than a five-minute walk away from quick, easy and cheap zero-emissions mobility.
Herzog & de Meuron and Hassell win the competition to overhaul Melbourne's iconic Flinders Street Station.
The winning design includes the construction of a new barrel-vaulted roof structure that envelops the station and brings light and ventilation onto both new and improved station concourses. The architects also plan to add a new public art gallery dedicated to oceanic and contemporary art, a public plaza, a marketplace, an amphitheatre and a permanent home for some of the city's cultural festival organisations.
"Our proposal respects the heritage, improves all aspects of the transport hub, and underscores its central civic nature with new cultural and public functions for all residents and visitors to Melbourne," says the design team on the competition website.
New research suggests LEED-ND projects can dramatically cut down on driving rates.
Confirming previous analysis, newly published research indicates that real estate development located, designed and built to the standards of LEED for Neighborhood Development will have dramatically lower rates of driving than average development in the same metropolitan region.
In particular, estimated vehicle miles per person trip for 12 LEED-ND projects that were studied in depth ranged from 24 to 60 percent of their respective regional averages.
The most urban and centrally located of the projects tended to achieve the highest shares of walking and transit use, and the lowest private vehicle trip lengths.
A number of design firms have drawn up plans for new a Penn Station and Madison Square Garden as part of campaign to rebuild the complex. Renowned studios SHoP Architects, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Diller Scofidio + Renfro, and H3 were all asked to re-imagine the New York landmarks by the Municipal Art Society (MAS), a nonprofit that campaigns for, among other things, intelligent urban design and planning.
The most radical proposals came from Diller Sofidio + Renfro and SOM, who both submitted wildly complex designs. Their proposal, "Penn Station 3.0" aims to serve "commuters, office workers, fabricators, shoppers, foodies, culture seekers, and urban explorers," with a multi-level complex that's topped by a rooftop public garden. The concept separates out the fast-moving commuters, who are confined to the lowest level, and adds layers of stores, cafes, a spa, and even a theatre, in which people are able to move around at a more leisurely pace. The plan would also see Madison Square Garden relocate to sit alongside the Farley building on 8th Avenue.
Find more information at the complete article.
High-speed rail is still just a dream in America. But why then aren't smart roads a reality?
It is possible to imagine a world in which smart pavement, smart cars, and embedded monitoring and controls would turn highways from gulches that pollute a wide swath of land around them with both particles and noise would become more like rivers.
Read more at the article link...
The designers at Control Group--have been hired by New York’s MTA to bring a plan for bringing a networked, touch-screen system to their subways. Starting this year, 90 touch-screen kiosks will make their way to thoroughfares like Grand Central Station and hip stops like Bedford Avenue. Together, they’ll make a beta network for 2 million commuters and tourists a day.
Each kiosk is a 47-inch touch screen, encapsulated in stainless steel, with an operational temperature up to 200 degrees. They’ll be placed, mostly in pairs, outside pay areas, inside mezzanines and even right on train platforms. Control Group has skinned the hardware with a simple front end and an analytics-heavy backend. And the platform will even support third-party apps approved by the MTA.
At launch, the screens will feature all sorts of content, like delays, outages, and, of course, ads (which bring in $100 million in revenue for the MTA each year, but mostly in paper signage). Yet its most powerful interaction for many will likely be its map, which features a one-tap navigation system.
You look at the map, you tap your intended destination, and the map will draw your route, including any transfers along the way. It’s an interface that puts Google Maps to shame.
Using bicycle-friendly cities like Copenhagen as inspiration, a growing number of cities around the world are changing their urban design to become biking cities.
Each year, Copenhagen eliminates 90,000 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere from the sheer number of cyclists versus cars.
Designing cities with bicycles in mind reduces emissions, commute times, urban sprawl and illness. More cities are looking to bike-friendly sustainable development as they aspire to become green.
Urban planners and architects are increasingly faced with the challenge of compacting development and designing a sustainable transport pattern...
A new state rail map shows that it can be done — should you be crazy enough to try it.
Local transit maps tend to stay local. Some designate connections to other lines or systems but it's not really their purpose to expand the map beyond the metropolitan area — say, the way road atlases do. Recently a California design team did what local agencies don't: created a statewide rail map with more than 500 destinations served by ten rail authorities plus Amtrak, ferry, and major bus connections.
The California Rail Map inspired us to find a way to travel north through the whole state, beginning just across the Mexican border, riding only local transit — no Amtrak or Greyhound. Twu guided us through the following inland route through the Sierra Nevada range. ("I suspect it is also a beautiful trip," he says.) The itinerary runs through five systems and only requires seven transfers:
High-speed rail (HSR) has long been touted as a tool of economic development in addition to its primary function of improving connectivity and ease of travel. Now, high-speed rail also has the potential to contribute to the nation’s urban revitalization trends.
Because HSR and other rail hubs are often located in urban centers, they are attracting an influx of tourism and activity to these cities. The mixed-use and transit-oriented nature of development around HSR hubs further supports the growth of city centers and downtowns.
Hotel development is particularly advantageous around these hubs because of their accessibility to those arriving by rail. These hotels also benefit from the mixed-use environment of urban centers, which provide visitors with walkable access to retail, restaurants, and attractions. In exchange, hotels and their guests energize the surrounding area with human activity...
For those concerned about the environmental impact of their daily commute, taking public transportation may be a way to be nicer to the planet. According to statistics highlighted by the Sustainable Cities Collective, taking public transportation over driving can save 340 million gallons of fuel from being used, preventing the release of 37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Now, public transportation is becoming even better for the environment thanks to the benefits of solar power. From California to Massachusetts, public transportation agencies are increasingly turning to photovoltaic energy to keep their operations running smoothly.
While trains are not (yet) propelled by photovoltaic energy, some public transportation agencies do use solar panels to help power their rail fleets. For example, the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority announced in September that it would be putting up solar modules on an 18-acre rail yard and on a garage. The installations, paid for through a power purchase agreement, are expected to save the MBTA close to $49,000 a year by providing an estimated 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, Boston.com reported.
On the other side of the country, L.A. Metro has announced its intentions to install a combined 2 megawatts of PV energy capacity on all of its bus and rail facilities in Los Angeles County, according to Clean Fleet Report...
Given the predominant role of the automobile in American transportation for both passenger and freight purposes, as well as the sheer length and breadth of the continental United States, roads and highways cover a huge amount of the country.
Scott and Julie Brusaw, the husband and wife team behind renewable energy start-up Solar Roadways, are looking to exploit the potential embodied by this vast road network by develop a technology to convert their surfaces into solar PV facilities which are capable of both bearing vehicles as well as generating power via exposure to sunlight.
In a mountainous suburb of La Paz, Bolivia, crews are finishing the first leg of a network of gondolas, which may be the largest mass transit cable-car system in the world.
Cable-car systems are hardly new tech—they are a fixture in ski resorts and mountain villages around the world. But planners are increasingly exploring their use in urban transportation systems—particularly to solve “last mile” issues, where it is difficult to connect neighborhoods to the existing mass transit network...
The world’s first open source piece of hardware was the bicycle, according to the Open Source Hardware Association. To be more precise, it was the draisine, introduced as a two-wheeled human-propelled walking machine in 1817.
Technologists of the day added things like pedals, chains and rubber tires, as the bicycle became one of the world’s most widely used and loved machines. Nearly two centuries and a couple billion bicycles later, entrepreneurs are applying computer controls, GPS and wireless connectivity to bikes to help save the world’s cities from automobile gridlock...
The 2010 launch of the “Boris Bike” – London’s cycle hire scheme, was the clearest indication to date that cycling was no longer just for a minority, but a healthy, efficient and sustainable mode of transport that city planners wanted in their armoury.
There are now more than 8,000 Boris Bikes and 550+ docking stations in Central London. And the trend’s not anomalous to London: Wikipedia reports that there are 535 cycle-share schemes in 49 countries, employing more than half a million bikes worldwide.
However, the real question is: will cycling actually change the city?
Tetrarc Architect’s designs for a public transport hub in Saint-Nazaire, France were recently completed. The projects – a bus shelter and a bridge – make up two points in this multi-modal interchange designed to accommodate increasing bus and rail traffic in Saint-Nazaire, while catering to pedestrians and their comfort.
The bus shelter runs parallel to the public square in front of Saint-Nazaire’s train station. The dynamic form and bright yellow hue of the roof adds visual interest to grey surroundings and makes the roof-cover a focal point, drawing pedestrians to it. It gives the impression of speed that is realised in the function of the shelter as a traffic-easing intervention. Daylighting is maximised in the shelter as the gap between its two canopies admits sunlight and a view to the sky. The glossy finish overhead and the shiny columns also reflect light, increasing visual effects both day and night. The overhang protects pedestrians from rain while glass-walled waiting areas shield passengers from the wind, all while maintaining visual connections to the surroundings.
The team of architects from Maxthreads Architectural Design & Planning designed the Taichung City Cultural Centre with the aim of combining nature and innovative technology.
The project defines the northern arrival gateway to Taichung Gateway Park, providing a public hub to the overall master plan. An iconic visual corridor connects the Transportation Centre to the main cultural district of the city through a vibrant pubic space, creating an unconventional and exceptional gathering space for visitors and inhabitants.
Maxthreads’ proposal introduces a strong relationship between the exterior and interior public spaces integrating into the Taichung Gateway Park. The Cultural Centre is designed in conjunction with Taichung Gateway park, and includes the integration of culture, education, tourism, environmental conservation, carbon reduction, energy conservation and sustainability.
'In honor of Bike to Work Day, we pulled together a list of America's most bike-friendly neighborhoods.'
Bike Score places neighborhoods and cities into four categories based on a 100-point score (ranked on bike lanes, hills, destinations and road connectivity, and bike commuting mode share): Biker's Paradise (90-10), Very Bikeable (70-89), Bikeable (50-69), and Somewhat Bikeable (0-49). The data here cover more than 7,000 neighborhoods across the United States and the table at the article link shows America's 25 most bikeable neighborhoods.
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, dedicated to sustainable architecture, has imagined and designed city so compact that nothing is more than a 15-minute walk away.
Dubbed “Great City,” the prototype suggests a Chinese city that might be built in 2021 on the outskirts of Chengdu, a city in the southwest of Asia.
Taking up just 1.3 square miles and 320 acres, Great City could be home to 80,000 people. The project proposes that 15 per cent of the total acreage would be devoted to urban parks and green areas, 60 per cent to buildings and 25 per cent to roads and walkways.
To design the world’s first pedestrian-only city, the architects considered a massive transit centre where public transport would be concentrated...
Whether you’re a nervous driver or a staunch supporter of mass transit to reduce your carbon footprint, relying solely upon public transportation will require you to live in a city with a suitable public transportation system in place.
According to aupairjobs.com, the 10 U.S. cities at the article link have the best mass transit systems in place and are most well-suited to traveling sans car:
Find more details at the article link...
The concept of a "road diet” has become increasingly popular, though the phrase fails to capture the wide variety of ways in which streets planned and paved decades ago often awkwardly fit the needs of changing communities today.
In many cases, redesigning city streetscapes is not just (or not at all) about eliminating roadway. It may be about adding parking (to benefit new businesses), or building a new median (for pedestrians who were never present before), or simply painting new markings on the pavement (SCHOOL X-ING).
According to the Project for Public Spaces, we might do better to think of the task as “rightsizing” streets instead of starving them. This week, the nonprofit planning and design organization published a series of case studies from across the country illustrating exactly what this could look like in a variety of settings. The above image pair, from the collection, shows before-and-after scenes of Prospect Park West in Brooklyn. Starting in the summer of 2010, the New York City Department of Transportation began retrofitting the street to accommodate cyclists and pedestrians crossing into Prospect Park. The whole project wasn’t simply a matter of pruning traffic lanes, but of adding yield signs, new traffic signal timing, bike lanes and pedestrian islands.
In the Global Innovation Series, presented by BMW i, Mashable highlights new technologies that will improve the urban experience.
City dwellers are always thinking about mobility, energy, shelter, safety and efficiency, and many technologies and startups in cities all around the globe are developing new tools to ameliorate these daily problems. If these concepts come to fruition, then the future of cities is looking bright.
Whether you're thinking easier ways to park your car or ideas for the home of the future, studying how we'll live in the next 10, 50 or 100 years can reshape the habits and challenges we face today. In this article link, there are 35 topics we've covered in the series, and they offer an exciting glimpse into the future of city life...
Cycling through the heart of some European cities can be a terrifying experience as you jostle for space with cars, trucks and scooters that whizz by with only inches to spare. Thankfully for bicycle enthusiasts, a movement is afoot to create more room for cycling in the urban infrastructure.
From London’s “cycle superhighways” to popular bike-sharing programs in Paris and Barcelona, growing numbers of European cities are embracing cycling as a safe, clean, healthy, inexpensive and even trendy way to get around town.
Amsterdam and Copenhagen are pioneers of this movement and serve as role models for other cities considering cycling’s potential to reduce congestion and pollution, while contributing to public health.
The trend is catching on also outside Europe, says John Pucher, a professor of urban planning at Rutgers University in New Jersey and co-author of a new book titled “City Cycling.”
Pucher says urban cycling is on the rise across the industrialized world, though Europe is still ahead of the pack.
Read the complete article for further details on urban cycling, cycle 'superhighways', bike sharing programs, two-wheel parking, mixed-mode commuting and more...