Friday, September 4, 2009

The City Cycles by Geoff Manaugh


Having just got into Copenhagen a few hours ago – in time not only to walk past a shop near our hotel called "Skin Center" (it sells leather jackets), but also to catch a bit of Copenhagen Design Week – I was reminded by all the cyclists here of two blogs added to my blogroll earlier this summer: Copenhagenize and Cycleicious.

[Image: From Copenhagen Design Week].

Copenhagenize is organized around the idea that "Each and every day 500,000 people ride their bicycle to work or school in and around Copenhagen. This blog highlights who they are, why they do and how it was made possible." For example, the blog recently covered Copenhagen's Bike Share Design Competition – but, in fact, the whole blog is worth a look if you're into anything from cycling, city culture, infrastructure, and European history to the transport implications of urban design. There are looks at everything from cycling as portrayed in illustratedchildren's books and bicycle vending carts to cycling-positive "visionary urban planning from 1913," the world's longest bicycle-commuter tunnel, and even a World War II Danish Bicycle Battalion, among many other such topics. It's a great idea for a blog. (However, all this talk of cyclists also reminds me of a horrific hit-and-run confrontation the other night in Toronto).

While I'm on the subject of blogs, cities, and infrastructure, meanwhile, let me briefly detour into a public fan-letter for
The Infrastructurist, which continues to dominate and to amaze, covering basically everything there is that's worth reading today about cities and how they're run (although, on a radically different note, I stand by Jessica Saraceni's amazing daily updates at as possibly my one genuine internet addiction these days: from lost cathedrals, California high schools built atop Native American graveyards, and machine-translations of unreadable ancient scripts to 14,000 year-old examples of landscape cartography, Saraceni's link-lists are awe-inspiring). Vis-a-vis further blogs and outward links, meanwhile, don't miss Will Wiles's excellent blog Spillway; smudge is a fantastic landscape arts blog; Edible Geography launched just last week with tales of cupcake gentrification, the nutritional impossibility of Australia, and much more; and, sadly, Brendan Crain's Where has just closed its doors after two and a half years of work.

Having said all that, I was supposed to be talking about cycling and Copenhagen... Check out these posts from
Copenhagenize about the city's bicycle superhighways – hopefully we'll someday see similar such routes cutting into and around Manhattan, L.A., London, and other cities all over the world. And, of course, unrelated to Copenhagen, don't forget this particularly illuminating piece of mobile urban infrastructure: the bike lane that travels with you.

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