Monday, August 31, 2009

New Amsterdam Bike Slam Part 5

New York City is changing, and safe and abundant cycling is part of the new face of the city. It's one thing to hear about it from those in the middle of the often painful process, but it can be bracing to ask an expert from outside to have a look and report what they see. This is a celebration of active transportation in NYC – how New York is leading the way to the post-Motordom city. With an interesting comparison to Portland and Vancouver. Visit New York City with Gordon and his camera, and check out the state of play as things stand as of summer 2009. Gordon is Director of the City Program at Simon Fraser University. A former six-time City Councilor in Vancouver, he has written extensively on Vancouver and transportation issues. Cycling NYC 2 presents 34 pages of photographs and commentary on what works, and what is causing friction as the cycling agenda gets pushed ahead by a strong team with high, consistent commitment from the highest levels of local government, with vigorous support from transport and environment groups, the non-profit sector, academics and specialized consultants, citizens and increasingly the media. Read more in World Streets.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

New Amsterdam Bike Slam Part 4

The New Amsterdam Bike Slam is a high-profile, positive public event which offers an open collaborative way for helping New York and anybody else who is ready to learn from their experience to move together from old to new mobility. The Slam approach offers a number of interesting and useful characteristics which those of us who care deeply about the transition to sustainable transportation have not always given sufficient play in the past. At the end of the New Amsterdam Bike Slam, one team will emerge the winner for having the most creative - and practical - vision for making New York Harbor a bicycle friendly area with good quality of public space. The winning team will present convincing solutions combining a host of disciplines, including but not limited to urban design, marketing and traffic safety. On September 13 (the day after the battle), Mr. Job Cohen, Mayor of Amsterdam, will convey the prize to the winning team on the waterfront in Manhattan. The movie you see here is about another big American city, but could have been about New York. The movie shows the challenge for New York and other major cities.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Amsterdam Bike Slam Part 3

New York and Amsterdam, like many other global cities, face challenges regarding mobility and requiring immediate solutions. An urgent look at necessary changes in mobility is the objective of the symposium ‘Global trends in sustainable mobility.’ For that purpose we have invited speakers to debate ideas that would further our thinking about cities and mobility. How did Amsterdam and New York get to where we are now with regard to mobility and what analyses can we bring to the table? What are the systematic differences in urban planning between New York and Amsterdam? Do these differences only exist in the field of mobility or has it other psychological and cultural backgrounds? What makes cities not only livable, but attractive to live in, and what good can mobility bring or bad by making things disappear? Can cities live with less or no petrol cars at all and what does such an idea do to the economy? How will public transport play a role in the triangle with emission rich mobility and more sustainable modes of transport? This issues will be discussed in the Symposium: 'Global Trends to Sustainable Mobility' September 13, 2009 in the Institute for Architecture in New York. Read more here.

New Amsterdam Bike Slam Part 2

Four hundred years after Henry Hudson's arrival in Manhattan, two teams of Dutch and American planners & designers face off in a battle for the future of New York City transportation. Their challenge: find ways to bring NYC cycling up to the level of the Netherlands, the only country in the world with more bikes than people. The New Amsterdam Bike Slam is being organized in New Amsterdam (sometime also referred to as "New York City") from 10-13 September 2009. It is an initiative of Amsterdam Cycling to Sustainability, produced by Vélo Mondial and Transportation Alternatives, with funding from Transumo and the City of Amsterdam. After three days of preparation, the New Amsterdam Bike Slam teams face off in a live debate “battle,” and compete to provide the most compelling vision for making lower Manhattan and Brooklyn a bicycling area on par with Amsterdam. The battle begins at 10:00 pm, followed by a late night dance party at the renowned Meatpacking District club, with DJ John Julius Knight. Full background on the program:

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Autolib: Paris' Electric Car Sharing Plan

A plan to make 4,000 electric cars available for Parisians to pick up and drop off at rental stands still has some kinks to be worked out. Could the City of Lights soon become the City of Electric Cars? Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoë, building on the success of the city's popular Vélib curbside bike rental scheme, is planning to deploy a fleet of 2,000 electric cars that customers can pick up and drop off at rental stands around the city. Another 2,000 vehicles will be offered in two dozen surrounding cities. The green scheme, dubbed Autolib (short for "automobile" and "liberté"), is scheduled for launch as early as the end of 2010, although city officials say the startup date could be closer to mid-2011. Advocates say the system would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 22,000 tons a year while improving traffic congestion as fewer Paris residents would need to own cars. It would be the first major city to offer such a service. "This could revolutionize transport," Delanoë told French radio station RMC when he first proposed the program in June 2008. Now, after numerous delays, Autolib is finally going forward, with the formation this summer of an intergovernmental council for Greater Paris that will oversee the scheme. Read more in Business Week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Amsterdam Cycling to Sustainability in context

Velo Mondial works with many partners towards sustainable mobility plans. programs and policies. Sustainability policies in Amsterdam however do not limit to mobility but also range to Energy, Waste, IT, Design, Finance, Food, Built Environment. Last year, the Amsterdam Innovation Motor facilitated, initiated and coordinated a number of promising projects: Amsterdam Smart City: to promote smart energy and applications related to smart energy; AIM to Sustain: a network that connects all the companies in the field of sustainability; Amsterdam Cycling to Sustainability: in which knowledge about sustainable mobility is spread as widely as possible. All of these projects contribute to a more sustainable working and living environment - at companies, knowledge institutes, government institutes and, of course, with the inhabitants of Amsterdam. The synergy between the various sustainability projects of the municipalities within the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area radiates energy. Collaborating, inspiring one another, and learning from each other are the keys to creating a more sustainable environment. Velo Mondial is happy to be part and parcel of all this. Read on here.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Imagine if your local bus stop allowed you to check your e-mail, share community information on a digital message board or monitor the local air quality? And perhaps best of all, what if it could tell you the exact location of that bus that you're waiting for? MIT architects and engineers just unveiled a design for such a bus stop this past Saturday, at the Genio Fiorentino festival in Florence, Italy. (A more formal prototype will be unveiled this October.) Called EyeStop and developed by the MIT SENSEable City Lab, it takes the tedium out of waiting for the bus and showcases the potential of next-generation urban transportation design. The EyeStop is partially covered with touch-sensitive e-INK and screens, and features state-of-the art sensing technologies and a variety of interactive services. Riders can plan a bus trip on an interactive map, surf the Web, monitor their real-time exposure to pollutants and use their mobile devices as an interface with the bus shelter. Unlike the typical mass-produced bus stop, EyeStop is designed to fit the physical characteristics of its surroundings. A computer program generates a unique design for each bus stop, providing both optimal sheltering for users and maximum sunlight exposure for power generation. In addition to displaying information, the bus stop also acts as an active environmental sensing node, powering itself through sunlight and collecting real-time information about the surrounding environment. Read more here.