Bicycle Culture by Design: Mikael Colville-Andersen at TEDxZurich

Bicycle Culture by Design: Mikael Colville-Andersen at TEDxZurich


Translator: Kosuke Miyata
Reviewer: Riaki Poništ I’m an optimist. But I’d like to put the next 15 minutes
or so into perspective for you and I’m going to need your help for that. I know its early in the morning, but I’d like everybody in the room
to please clap, at this tempo. (Clapping) Cool, that was quicker
than I expected, finding the rhythm. For every time we clapped our hands,
somebody somewhere in the world was injured in a car accident:
96 beats per minute. 1.2 million people die
globally around the world. In Europe and the United States,
every year, almost 35,000 people are killed in car accidents, on our roads. Do you know what that is? That’s a 9/11. Collapsing World Trade Center towers
almost every single month, and almost every single month
for the past 60 years at least. I can’t be alone at thinking
that this is rather insane. There is no war on this terror. we’ve accepted a status quo
in our societies that is quite unacceptable. I’ve decided to find out
why we’ve reached this point, and more importantly, what we could do to make
things better and think differently. Firstly, we have to look
at the streets themselves. What are streets? For 7,000 years, since our
cities first were formed, streets had a very singular definition. There was a space in which we transported
ourselves of course, but also the space in which we met, gathered,
talked to our neighbours, gossiped. Where we sold our goods,
where our children played. They were extensions
of our homes, of our living rooms; they were public domain. Probably the most democratic spaces
in the history of Homo sapiens. Now a lot of people seem
to have this perception that streets are the exclusive
domain of automobiles. I discovered that two main things happened to cause this massive paradigm shift
in our perception of streets. Firstly, in the rapid urbanization
of the late 1800s and the early 1900s, engineers were
the urban heroes of the day, tackling any and all problems
that cities could throw at them. They did very well. But when the automobile
showed up, people started dying. Nobody had a solution
to the traffic safety problem. So, almost in desperation, engineers
were handed the job, in collaboration with the automobile industry,
who saw an opportunity. But almost overnight, streets
became regarded as public utilities like water supply,
electricity or like sewers, puzzles to be solved
with mathematical equations. Secondly, the automobile
industry had a problem. they had products to sell
and yet everybody hated them. This was something
called the Anti-Automobile Age. Cars were despised. Motorists were detested. The automobile industry
used techniques like marketing, spin, and good old-fashioned ridicule
to change people’s perceptions. They started campaigns, for example
against what they called “jaywalking,” crossing the street
in the middle of the block. Now, in the American slang of the day, a “jay” was a derogatory term
for a country bumpkin, a redneck, somebody who didn’t know
the ways of the cool big city. People were ridiculed
when they tried to cross the street in the middle of the block –
a 7,000 year-old habit. Boy scouts were enlisted,
handing out flyers to these people, chastising them for their behavior. Also, anybody who was against cars, they were labeled as old-fashioned,
standing in the way of progress. These are very effective techniques; nobody in our cities likes
to be considered old-fashioned, and nobody anywhere likes to be ridiculed. So, pedestrians were herded up
to the street corners to use these things called crosswalks. Children were shepherded into these
newly invented things called playgrounds. Finally the streets were clear
of irritating obstacles and the stage was set
for the paradigm shift, probably the greatest paradigm shift
in the history of our cities. And here we are today. Welcome to the tail end
of 100 years of traffic engineering. What do we have to show for it? Very little. Nobody’s figured out how to make
traffic flow more effectively, how to ease congestion, or how to stop
people from getting killed or injured. Streets carve up our cities
like angry rivers slicing through sand. Traffic safety problems,
but also pollution, social exclusion. If you look at it long and hard,
we live in cities that are in controlled by bizarre, often outdated,
mathematical models and equations, cost-benefit analysis, impact assessments. Even lovely cities like
Copenhagen and Zurich. Sometimes it feels like we’re all
just characters in the Matrix. Seriously, cities around the world
can’t put in a simple decent cycle track or widen the sidewalks, traffic-calm
a neighborhood, lower the speed limits because it doesn’t fit
into the mathematical equation on the computer
down the engineering department. So many ideas die on their doorstep. Let me ask you,
is there a way out of the Matrix? Urbanization is on the rise
now more than ever before, and we need new solutions;
we need them in a hurry. Should we really be engineering something
as human and organic as public streets? It’s the people who define the city. Shouldn’t we study their behavior,
their patterns, their movements, their desires, their needs, in order to figure out
how to further develop our cities? If you think about it,
it worked for about 7,000 years. I think there’s a pretty good chance
it’s going to work again. There’s two things we need: One is basic human observation,
something we all share. Call it anthropology, sociology, fine. But when you boil it down, it’s just a simple act of people studying
what other people are doing: watching. In 1958, the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard
described this idea of “desire lines.” “Desire lines” is the most beautiful
expression in urban planning. This is an example, from Copenhagen. This is a street corner on the busiest
bicycle street in the world. The city discovered
that a couple thousand cyclists were cutting across a sidewalk here
to get to a parallel street. Instead of handing out tickets
to them all day long, they observed, accepting the fact that
there must be a very good reason for this. A temporary cycle track
was put in to see how that went, and it was finally made permanent. The subconscious desire lines of just
a couple thousand citizens were respected. This is another example. This is the view from my hotel room
in Halifax, Canada earlier this year. Fresh snow on the Common,
the park in the heart of the city. The green lines are the original pathways,
perfect for 19th century promenading, walking your dog on a Sunday,
going for a run, all good things, fine. But the red lines show you where the people were actually
walking and cycling in the morning rush hour,
from the neighborhoods to the city center, carving desire lines straight
as arrows through the snow. A modern city would observe
and redesign accordingly. Desire lines are great;
we really love desire lines at my company. We filmed an intersection in Copenhagen
for 12 hours on a random day in April, and we mapped the desire lines
of every single one of the 16,558 cyclists who went through there that day. That’s not even a busy
intersection in Copenhagen. I can tell you
it was a fascinating exercise. We had an anthropologist working on it. There’s no mathematical model
that can replace 12 hours of intense human observation –
actually it was probably 150 hours, but when you’re studying and looking
for new innovative solutions for our cities, which we are. In my work developing
bicycle infrastructure and bicycle culture in cities around the world, I’m constantly amazed
and baffled and frustrated at how many planners and engineers
have never even tried to ride a bicycle in their city
or spend any serious time as pedestrians. It’s all office work,
computer models, maps. This brings us to the second thing
that we need for modernizing our cities: design. We all have a relationship with design. We all make design choices
every single day. It’s a part of our DNA,
no matter where we’re from. And here’s the thing: a designer thinks
and works differently than an engineer. A designer thinks about
the end user of the product. That human being on the other end
of the design process is everything. They work with functionality,
usability, user friendliness. They work with concepts like
the four types of pleasure: physio, socio, pshyco, ideal pleasure
in everything they do. Designing a city for bicycles,
or pedestrians, or any aspect of a truly liveable city should be like designing
any other product on the market: a toothbrush, a toaster,
a smartphone, a chair. When you all came in here today,
you found your seats and you sat down. You didn’t have to take a moment
to contemplate the chair, interpret the designer’s intentions,
figure out how to work it, “Where is the ON button?” You didn’t have to worry about
whether it’s going to disappear from under you in the middle of my talk. You sat down. It was easy and intuitive. That’s how designing cities
for people should be. Imagine if riding a bicycle or walking
in the city was that easy or intuitive. That would be cool, and it’s possible. Design is a powerful and beautiful tool
if we apply it correctly. It can also be seductive, making us forget
about all sorts of other important things. 80% of us in this room probably don’t need
the smartphones in our pockets but my god we saved up for them,
and hurried down to acquire them just seduced by the design. Well designed bicycle infrastructure
will seduce people to use it. You make the bicycle the quickest way
from A to B in a city, any city in the world. It doesn’t matter how hilly, how hot,
how cold, citizen cyclists will ride, seduced by the good design,
the convenience and the safety. Good design can also
improve human behavior. I hear the same thing around the world, “All those damn cyclists,
breaking the law, running red lights, riding on sidewalks,” you know. Nah. I have one response to that:
those cyclists do not have adequate bicycle infrastructure,
even worse, none at all; never mind the fact that they’re forced
to abide by a traffic culture and traffic laws that were invented
to serve the automobile, a completely different transport form. In Copenhagen, in the morning rush hour, when a couple hundred thousand people
ride their bikes to work, it’s different. At every traffic light cycle,
you have great groups of citizen cyclists doing something really weird:
they’re waiting for the light to turn green, checking their smartphones. They don’t need to break the law because they’re on a well-designed
bicycle infrastructure, and a whole network of it. If you think about it, regular citizens
don’t want to break the law. They don’t want to be the rogues
of the urban landscape standing out like a sore thumb in society. They just want to go about
their daily lives, go from A to B quickly,
efficiently and safely. The good cities of the future
have to be based on human observation, and on design principles,
as well as listening to the thoughts and observations of the leading
minds in the field. Like Lulu-Sophia. She’s five now. And I’ve been recording her urban
observations for about a year and half. This is my daughter. It started about a year and half ago,
she was three and a half. We were on our way to the hardware store
in Copenhagen, on our cargo bike as we do. And we stopped at a red light
and she was looking around and all of a sudden she said, “Daddy look, it’s a motorbike
with two people on it.” She was three and a half. This concept had never occurred
to her in her young mind. I said, “Cool, maybe it’s nice,
maybe they’re friends, it’s nice to ride a motorbike together,
they can talk and stuff. Look, you and me,
we’re two people on a bike, we’re friends, we’re talking.” “Yeah, ahh.” She was amazed. Off we went, we stopped
at a red light further along. I realize in retrospect that she had been
intensely observing her urban theater, looking for other examples of two people doing this,
two people doing that. Actually she said, out of the blue
again, rather frustrated, “Daddy, cars are silly.” I said, “Really, but why?
Why are cars silly?” “Because you can’t
see the people in them.” A three-and-a-half-year-old nails it, the social exclusion
of automobile society, the anonymity of cars. It was brilliant and pure. My kids spend about five hours
a year in a car. So it’s very pure observations. Lulu-Sophia has a brother;
his name’s Felix; he’s 10. Earlier this year I thought
it’d be interesting to get his third grade class
to redesign the roundabout at the intersection by their school,
a really badly engineered roundabout. Without too much input from me,
they went to work, dividing up into teams, doing site visits, talking to each other,
writing notes, making drawings – actually only making drawings;
they’re in the third grade. But it was fantastic. Their solutions were brilliant. One of them was that they wanted
glass roofs on all the streets and cycle tracks and sidewalks
so they never ever got wet in the rain. But apart from that,
their solutions were logical, rational, based on human observation,
personal experience and human need. If we allow ourselves to think
like these rational and logical children, we free our minds. Planning for intelligent transport forms
like cycling, like walking, becomes much easier. The glass roofs were a funny idea,
but you know what? As we speak, there are cities
in the Netherlands who are installing rain sensors
on their bicycle traffic lights so that when it rains,
snows, or gets too cold, those cyclists are prioritized,
right through those intersections, getting those people home
in a hurry through the rain. Simple, rational, logical. In Copenhagen,
we have the green wave in place on several arteries
leading to the city center. 20 km per hour, and you hit green
all the way into the city, and all the way home again
in the afternoon on bicycles. All of this begs the question, “What would the streets
of our cities look like if our main consultants
were five-year-olds, third graders, and teams of young design students?” I think they’d be beautiful. They would certainly work better
than they’re working now and most importantly, they would be safer than at any single point
in the last 60 years. I’ll tell you what’s old-fashioned
and standing in the way of progress and that is engineering human streets
instead of designing them. But at the end of the day, this isn’t
about bicycles and infrastructure, pedestrian facilities, urban planning,
urban design, livable cities. I’ll tell you what this is;
it’s bigger than all that. This is about erecting monuments. Monuments that we,
the people, design and erect. Monuments to liveable cities, to the past,
the present and all important future. Monuments that make cities better
and monuments that save lives instead of wiping them out
or destroying them. If you think about it,
we are the architects. We are the designers. These are our cities. This isn’t the Matrix. I want to leave you with this quote: “Cities are erected on spiritual columns. Like giant mirrors, they reflect
the hearts of their residents. If those hearts darken and lose faith,
cities will lose their glamour.” This is a 900-year-old quote,
more true today than ever before. And I ask you, is this
not the noblest of goals? Working, doing everything we can. We know how to do it to make
our cities and our heart shine. I think that we should just
take this paradigm and shift it back to where it belongs,
back to the future. I think we should let these monuments
to the future rise all over the world. Now you will clap again, but this time,
please don’t clap for me, clap for shining hearts
and all the lives that we can save and the cities that we can make better. Thank you. (Applause)

Author: Kennedi Daugherty

95 thoughts on “Bicycle Culture by Design: Mikael Colville-Andersen at TEDxZurich

  1. He is wrong. What is standing in the way of progress is not "engineering the streets", it's money and greed, a 'very old' human trait.

  2. Keep drinking the kool-aid and enjoy living in a country of obese, mindless compatriots (assuming you're American because that's typically the country that harbors such idiocy as yours.) As if spending 2 hours in a vehicle that is the 11th cause of all deaths in the world weren't being herded around like cattle.

  3. Your are wrong

    Cities can won a lot of money if the planning consider humans as humans, not as machines. We just need a change of mentality so that we can realize that a humanized city is better for citizens and for the economy !

  4. Engineering is not the enemy…

    Engineering is also a powerful and beautiful tool if we apply it correctly.
    Design is a part in the process of engineering, and both are meant to be used harmoniously.
    We had gigantic advances in "traffic engineering", though it has proven not enough, we have learned a lot. No need to blame math, we just need to change our goals and have new mathematical models that give us a more humane city.

    Don't ridicule Engineering, design it correctly.

  5. Engineers are brilliant problem solvers. They just need to be told which problems to solve. They are rarely leaders. They are the Can Do team. If we design a city properly, they will make it work. But as it is now, we are living in The Matrix, because traffic engineering goes unchecked and uncriticised. The 85th Percentile, for example, is a joke. An archaeic study that doesn't work. And yet it's the first thing you learn when studying engineering. Time to change things.

  6. Nice job Mikael. As a Planning Commissioner for the city of San Luis Obispo California… I often refer to Copenhagenize. We are currently re-designing our circulation plan… and your thoughts and links have been very useful. Thanks for all you do ! BTW… there is great new book just out you might like… called Walkable City by Jeff Speck (co-author of Suburban Nation)

  7. I live in Sacramento and I'm convinced we are one of the top cities for rude drivers because our streets our so horribly designed. I ride my bicycle almost everywhere and car drivers are rude to the point of endangering my life. The sad thing is that when I *must* drive, as soon as I get in the car I get so angry at the crappy streets that I want to run over bicyclists too. =(

  8. For me the big problem with most cities is they are being modified to handle better the increased traffic when traffic itself is the problem.
    Traffic generates pollution and annoyance. It eats time from peoples lives and is far from cost effective.
    We need to rethink cities so that there is less traffic, not simply to have "better" traffic.
    We are trying to solve the wrong problem, asking the wrong question.

  9. One of the things that need to be changed is precisely that harsh segregation between engineering & design. They are part of the same process. For example, the analysis of desire lines shown is a engineering approach, counting, measuring and modeling, learning, all in order to design better.
    I agree with your point of cities needing to change the way they approach urban design, but i don't think the problem is because of engineering. It is that the engineering/design are not being used properly.

  10. This is truly inspiring. Thank goodness there are people like you out there doing this kind of work! The only negative aspect of this talk was the guy in the front row very rudely using his smart phone throughout your talk. Could he really not have put it away for 15 minutes!

  11. As a passionate cyclist who is an engineer I find the attitude of this video somewhat disturbing. In general engineers are employed to engineer a somebody else's idea. Blaming this problem on engineering is short sighted and mis-leading.

  12. My problem is that you choose to blame my profession when in your own reply you make it clear engineering is not to blame. If you give an engineer a task their job is to design / produce what you ask for. The problem in your example is that the politicians asked for the 'wrong' thing as they were driven by financial interest.Describing the engineer as 'cold' is just disrespectful and rude.

  13. Thanks for the kind reply, I guess I hear a lot of stereotyping about 'engineering' which i probably take too personally :). I often sense that many people link engineering to a cold stiff robotic presence, I quote form the video 'should we really be engineering something as human and organic as public streets' YES WE SHOULD, but that engineering should be done well so it is organic and doesn't feel like the matrix by for example working alongside designers!

  14. all I keep heaing is Copenhagen this and Copenhagen that. We got it, u live in a bicycle paradise. Well we all cabn't live there sadly as they won't let us in. Tell me about somewhere else please

  15. I am an engineer by training, and have practiced this profession for over 25 years. Mr. Colville-Andersen's remarks are accurate. While it is the engineer's job to solve problems, it is also the engineer's responsibility to question whether or not they are being asked to solve the right problems. If an engineer shirks that responsibility, then they have failed their profession, and they have no one to blame but themselves when criticism is directed toward their work.

  16. Thank you Mikael! I wish you could come to Calcutta city (India) to educate authorities-in-charge. They are banning all non-motorized forms of transportation. Most roads in the city has "No Cycling zone" signs & only fewer roads are left to come under such ban. Very soon riding a bicycle in the city would be considered illegal.

  17. The book "Carfree Cities" by J.H. Crawford is also worth a read.

    I wish the Planning Commissioner for my city was active on YouTube and interested in creating a city that fostered alternative modes of transport – I'm jealous of San Luis Obispo.

  18. I wonder if London's mayor Boris Johnson has met Mikael Colville-Anderson? He should at least watch some of his videos

  19. try explaining to the paramedics who are trying to scrape you off the wheel of the bus that hit you the reason you shot through the stoplight is because you're protesting the lack of bike infrastructure. 

  20. The state imposes these designs on people. Perhaps private roads would open the door to safer city environments, since the people who DO walk and ride on said roads would have some input.

  21. Great how you show that kids can often come up with great design solutions to everyday problems – they certainly view the world with different eyes to a grown-up.  

  22. I think I'm with the kids with this one, the case for glass roofs for bicycles lanes is more logical. If you had a choice between going to gym outside another one inside which one would you choose ? Would you expect people to drive if all cars have no roofs ? Why should cyclists HAVE to get wet? It doesn't make sense. Covered cycling is the more logical choice. 

  23. I am a bicyclist myself and appreciate the jest of what the presenter is trying to put across but a few points, like there would have been several accidents during those 7,000 years when people traveled in horses and carriages and later bicycles when they were invented. The paradigm shift he mentions has also enables us to travel further and faster which is mostly a good thing except for those accidents. Dual carriage ways existed even before motorcars and even those streets were not very safe even back then. Traffic gridlocks, noise and accidents existed even during those times. http://www.uctc.net/access/30/Access%2030%20-%2002%20-%20Horse%20Power.pdf

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_roads#Practices_and_terminology

  24. I wonder when his utopia may be implemented world wide. I am afraid I could be dead when it does. The power of the car, sometimes you think it is ingrained in the DNA now.

  25. Nowadays, roads are now exclusively for automobile especially in an urban environment, because they represent the veins to keep the city running.

    The most efficient way to keep the city running is by having the most flexible transport system, rather than given priority to one group (motorist) over other modes of transport like trams, bikes, horse or walking even though they all share the same road.

    In fact, Segways are ideal for persons with arthritis, one day we will all grow old right? But currently is banned on most public roads because they don't know what to do with this category of transport.

    A city that exclude old people, younger children to play or do short journey without the need to think about parking spaces. Rush hour exist because of cars, not bikes, bus or other transport, then what the hell is the point of a city where everything supposed to be efficient???

  26. You cannot mistake this guy's genuine enthusiasm.  We need him in Australia. Our govt is so anti cycles.

  27. They should use a third world country as an experiment. Where there's almost no real infrastructure and no city planning in place. Then create this perfect eco-friendly transportation and show the world that it can happen. But perhaps I'm just a dreamer.

  28. 35000 die in traffic accidents in the US and EU alone? ok, i saw not long ago numbers of 33000 for the US alone per year. I can't believe that the EU is THAT much safer, so i assume that one of us has his statistics wrong.

  29. Glass roof's if cycle lanes were huge greenhouses the heat and co2 generated by all the cyclist would grow really good cheap food and keep people dry!

  30. The automobile is one of the single greatest inventions of all time. The automobile brought great Liberty and Freedom to mankind. The ability to travel Freely is no small thing.

    Walking is good for you. I purposely walk 5 or more miles a day, and do not own a car. This was a conscious decision because of health issues, that walking seems to help.

    I don't bike, but if I did, I'd ride one with an electric motor.

    The problem with left wing fascists is they get stuck on one idea (usually the wrong one) and demonize anyone who thinks differently. This leads to anger and division, the only 2 things liberals are really good at!

    Automobiles are not evil. Neither are bicycles or pedestrians. Nor are any of these the enemy of the other.

    The solution isn't condescending lectures from someone who thinks 3 year olds have the answer!

    Real solutions will certainly prioritize PEOPLE but accommodate all.

    The automobile isn't going anywhere. Neither is walking or bicycling.

    Creating harmony, not hate and division is the key. We can design, and redesign cities that accommodate everyone.
    Constantly dividing people in every single way possible is counterproductive, unless sowing hate for your fellow man is your goal, which seems to be that of the left!

  31. Lesson learned: observe; desire lines are fundamental for functional urbanites
    – cars are silly because you can't people in them
    Thanks TEDdy!

  32. for my safe biking future, im moving to copenhagen. also, im going to stop flicking off and chase down drivers to curse and tell them how close they came to clipping me. because in reality, i am less shielded and have 2 fewer wheels (unless ur in training. i think bikes are safer shared with pedestrians than the roadraged streets known to kill. cuz my body matters

  33. Great talk! I completely agree. I am lucky enough to live in a city that is very proud of, and committed to, its cycling infrastructure.

  34. His ideas are needed everywhere. Common sense needs to be brought to the forefront. Cities like New York are drowning in a mass of humanity.

  35. That is an excellent talk, and the speaker is awesome. But I wouldn't dismiss engineers and engineering. Engineers just need to have guideline and priorities, and they can optimize for all modes, if they are properly motivated, do have space and proper methods to work with. A lot of it boils down to education, and putting more money into things mentioned like observation, analyzing flows, putting them into foot of cyclists, taking time to look at details for long time. And that is money too again. If the cost and time is the main factor in the engineer job or company designing a intersection or few, obviously they are going to do a poor job, and just copy paste existing solutions. Proper good solution can be engineered, it can be objectively measured, it can be done scientifically, even if it involves human elements and behaviors. And it is important to not make engineers your enemy.

  36. Each bike could have it's own roof, maybe even fully enclosed. Well it would be heavier then so make the bike motorized. It might tip over so move up to 4 wheels. Hey put a radio in there! And a/c!

  37. So less about The Netherlands bike roads? We have the lowest percentage of accidents between bikes and cars, thanks to our infrastructure. Nice video anyhow. 🇳🇱👍🏼

  38. I strongly believe in your words. If you design a bike way and ensure safety there will be thousands of people who want to travel of bicycle. I’m talking about Hyderabad, India. No one cares about cyclists or pedestrians. No hope that this situation will change

  39. You see Cars and vehicles keep you feeling secured in a capsule by locking yourself and your stuff inside it's a less social way to travel…….

  40. That is true a lot of cities government just keeps giving tickets to cyclist for riding on prohibited places but they don’t seem to know that a lot of this tickets repeat itself everyday, they should really stop and observed so they can find a solution but government is just interested in money so for them it’s easier to just give out the ticket

  41. I've seen some videos about Copenhagen cycle infrastructure. While it's good, it never comes to the level of Dutch (cycle) infrastructure, it's just way better.

  42. The children's playground should really be the symbol of what's wrong with car culture.

    "No child, you mustn't play. Ford and Volkswagen have spoken – your time for fun only exists in the playground. And no running."

  43. There are a number of reasons people don't want to ride a bicycle. Many have grown to love their cars, as the car is designed to do. People love their cars for the speed, the range, not getting tired, not getting sweaty, being able to easily take passengers (especially children), moving lots of weight or bulk, traveling in bad weather comfortably (including high winds), having privacy, or showing off an expensive ride. I think some of these reasons are legitimate (especially somebody with multiple young children), some of them are very shallow and selfish. I think the mis-western US embraced cars so completely due to the agricultural backgrounds, where traffic isn't a large concern and moving at 60 miles per hour instead of 15 is important, since they often need to cover dozens of miles in a day. They also often need to move large amounts of equipment or goods, also difficult with a bicycle. As cities grew, cars were already a cultural staple. Cars also appeal greatly to the more wealthy, as the cost becomes a non-issue and privacy, style, and not getting sweaty or beaten by the elements is more important.

    We need to see changes in people's outlooks, that's a significant psychological battle. That said, we also need to recognize how much cars can do for so many people. The bicycle was a great invention, and there might be a need for another great invention or at least iteration to help narrow the gap between cars and bicycles. We either need something competitive with cars or we need city slickers to be a lot poorer.

  44. Brilliant. I'm sure there are schools and institutions all over the world using this clip as a base for action to save our cities. You can count at least 3 schools in Olomouc city among them. Thank you, Mike.

  45. Your audience can't clap in unison so why should car drivers be expected to share the roads without someone being killed.

  46. If you want to see desire lines, take a bus to a shopping mall in the suburb. You'll see desire lines from the bus stop cutting through the grass instead of the walkway 50feet away.

  47. This is a great deal more than a pro-bike talk, which is the way it seems billed and is marginalizing. It goes to deep issues of design's role in regard to the human spirit. Design leads life, but self-interested politics leads our design choices. Just ask us in Eugene Oregon, where we should be developing environmental infrastructure but are instead building a Courthouse to prosecute all those who aren't being served by the current design "choices."

  48. Seattle is a "bike friendly" city and I biked 9mi home yesterday….
    on a busy road with no lane… then into sidewalk… finally on a bike path… then dumped onto a street, then dumped into a busy road with no bike lane… then you have to know where to go to get back to the bike path

  49. 16km each way to the office. 12 months a year. Rain or shine, through Canadian winters and hot humid summers. Cars are about 10 minutes faster than me. But I smile the whole way. On my bike. 🙂 Great talk!

  50. That man in the front row in the gray jacket with his face stuck in his smartphone throughout the talk is so darned rude! Shows rank disrespect to the presenter.

  51. I a,m an Architect. Planners refer to sidewalks as, those places pedestrians look awkward or poor people with no car.

  52. Actually it was the bike industry in 19 century that pushed for cobble street roads. The roads had horse carts, & horses & tons of horse manure. This guy has history totally messed up.

  53. Cycling doesn’t work well in intense hills. Netherlands is very flat. I road in Amsterdam. Can ride a heavy bike & seldom pedal. Same with a Paris. Try this in the Rocky Mountain foothills. Much harder then Copenhagen. Wonder if this person road to airport to fly to TedTalk ?

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