NYT writes about a fairly small-scale implementation by ClearChannel, the outdoor advertising group, to follow JC Decaux's Paris Velib bikeshare model. Only 120 bikes in ten spots for now though. Posted by Mark.
We spent the day with Intrago Mobility president Dan Sturges - the three of us riding around London all day on Segways. Suffice to say that we had a total riot - we wizzed around the south bank, met with MPs interested in overturning the ban on Segways, and stood in front of countless crowds in awe of how this machine magically 'self balances'. Incredibly (and pleasingly), almost everyone we met thought they were 'cool' - particularly teenagers and school kids.
We'll post more on this over the next few days, but for now click on the Segway Coolwall pics above to access the full set of photos. The images are available for use under a creative commons license - please credit The Movement Design Bureau and link to this page.
Posted by Joseph Simpson on 24th April 2008
Related reading: The Protocol in Pasadena.
Regular Re*Move watchers will know we are big fans of Dan Sturges and his team at Intrago Mobility, which is based in Boulder, Colorado but has an extraordinary network of advocates in many parts of the world.
Joe and I will spend time with Dan next Wednesday and Thursday when he visits London to talk to city policy influencers about the need for a joined-up strategy between bike sharing, tube stations and bus stops. We've written before about Paris's Velib system but, as JC Decaux continues to try to scale the project beyond France, there is much scope to strike new and better deals that apply bike sharing differently. More robust, secure rental systems can mean, for example, that electric bikes can be added. As the guys who take vans around Paris collecting Velibs to put back at the top of the hills in Montmartre know, bikeshare in hilly towns or cities would be a lot better if eBikes were part of the equation. And they're actually much easier to ride without getting hot and bothered in more sprawling cities like London. Electric bikes could help expand cycling beyond its current penetration groups.
Just to stretch people's minds we'll be riding Segways, which are currently banned on UK roads and UK pavements. Which seems to contradict the government's goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 versus 1990 levels (let alone 20 per cent by 2010 or 26 per cent by 2020). Drop me a line if you want to come and talk to us. We'll be posting images via our Cool Walls too.
Thanks in advance to Nicola Dallatana, Segway's European regulatory affairs chief, who will be valiantly arguing for more enlightened light vehicle policies in the House of Commons at the end of this month. Business as usual regarding vehicle types and pathway allocations in cities is not going to deliver the CO2, energy, movement and 'liveability' objectives that right now are stacked up in city leader intrays all around the world. We need to test different mixes and encourage (not ban) new light vehicle categories.
Thanks also to Dominic Campbell, our progressive man in city policymaking, for ideas on great people to speak to.
Posted by Mark Charmer. Mark is director of The Movement Design Bureau.
Those of you close to us - especially those who follow us on Twitter - will know we're working on the launch of our city-based trend research network in early summer.
I can't share the details yet but suffice to say we're going to throw out of the window many of the assumptions that hold Think Tanks back - number one being that most spend their time producing boring reports that noone reads.
We're rejecting what Dominic Campbell and I describe as the tendency to become the "Centre for Obvious Research". Obvious stuff which is expensively commissioned because decision-makers can only do intuitive things if they have a detailed report to prove it's true. Things like this report that proves towns in Northern England like Blackpool and Burnley need to forge better links with nearby cities such as Liverpool and Manchester. Well go figure.
A new generation of designers, policy people and entrepreneurs working on movement, cities and interaction are looking for something much more open and useable. And we're basing it around photography as the starting point.
How it works
Our trend team will maintain a network of global Cool Walls. For now we're focusing on MOVEMENT. There are just three rules:
1. You must have taken the photos yourself.
2. Each must be captioned with the date and location it was taken. You can add long captions if you like, but that's your call.
(and this is critical)
3. You must set the licensing to Creative Commons.
We encourage people to keep a Cool Wall of between 20 and 30 images. About 24 is optimal. For now, we're finding Flickr is the best place to host your Cool Wall.
In early summer I'll explain how the best trend watchers will earn money watching trends that they communicate via photography, rather than earning money selling photography. This is quite a leap - but an important one. In the meantime we won't be earning money directly out of your photos. That I can guarantee.
For now, if you want to get involved, email me (with the subject COOL WALL) to sign up to follow the beta programme. Or better still participate by just setting up your own Cool Wall on Flickr and then email me the location. As a trend watcher, you can be as public or anonymous about your identity as you like. If we think it's a Cool Wall, we'll promote it. Even if you tell me who you are, I promise not to pass that on without your permission.
Posted by Mark Charmer on 15 April 2008. Mark is director of The Movement Design Bureau, a global think tank.
I spent time in Delft last week in the south of Holland. It's a wonderful town - really walkable, with car traffic volumes in the centre of town like something from England in, perhaps, the 1960s with the majority of people getting around by bike.
I took some pictures of bikes - lots and lots of bikes. And the town was full of old French and Italian cars for some reason. This town has taste.
View the full set here. They're Creative Commons, so feel free to reuse within the licensing agreement.
Posted by Mark on 12 April 2008.
Dan Sturges, this is for you. A double page spread in this week's Private Eye magazine features an angelic and ghostly child peering out of the back passenger window, under the strapline "Because no-one's first question after an accident is 'how's the car?'" The copy goes on to say the Q7 is "designed to look after your most valued possessions".
Imagine what interesting cities we'd have if every child had this much protection. Come on Audi, you can do much better than this cynical nonsense.
Posted by Mark Charmer on 12 April 2008.