Milan has announced one of Europe’s most ambitious mobility schemes, known as Strade Aperte (open roads). Its goal is to reduce cars in phase 2 of the lockdown by increasing bike lanes and pedestrian areas.
Citi Bike, New York’s bike sharing grows in the name of sustainability
Like every new trend in New York City, bike sharing has its advocates and critics. Yet Citi Bike is an important step towards transformation and sustainability.
A typical scene: you get out from work and take a bike from the station near Bryant Park, riding through New York City headed to a new bar for a chat with a friend. Or you need it just for 10 blocks at lunchtime to go and see a shop in Soho that just opened. Citi Bike is expanding throughout Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, but also in New Jersey, on the other side of the Hudson River: this summer a new expansion project started and the number of bikes will increase from 8,000 to 10,000 this year.
Riding a bike without the hassle of storing it
Annual Citi Bike members rose to 105,465 with 467 active stations as of May 2016, and an estimated 1.4 million pounds of carbon emissions were offset: ride for fun, health and convenience as well as helping the planet.
“It’s easy to use, and I can use it for unlimited 45 minutes rides in the city – I can take it at one station and leave it at another,” says Veronica Tordi, who has been a New Yorker for three years and now member of the rising community of Citi Bike users. She lives in Bushwick, in Brooklyn, and every time her friends invited her for a drink in Williamsburg, a 20 minutes ride from where she lives, she preferred to stay home before the bike stations arrived in her neighbourhood. “Some neighbourhoods, especially here in Brooklyn, are so nice and vibrant but they’re not easy to reach with the subway, and with buses it takes ages to get there”.
An app to find bikes and docks easily
“With a simple smartphone, I can check the availability of bikes or spaces to leave my bike in real time,” Tordi explains. “This was thought for quick trips, instead of a cab, if you’re visiting or showing guests around, if you want to go from the office to the pool without always being underground in the subway, and also for going green”. There are 1-day passes for 12 dollars, 3-day passes for 24 dollars or an annual membership for around 15 dollars a month (about 180 dollars a year). “The issue here is that there’s not enough choice: I would like a monthly pass or something less than a year commitment”.
Transformation and gentrification, how communities view Citi Bike
In autumn 2015 Citi Bike expanded to Bedford-Stuyvesant, a historical neighbourhood which lately has been experiencing gentrification: the arrival of wealthier (and often white) people, causing prices to rise in neighbourhoods, which are often forced to change their aspect, and at times leading the original communities to be displaced. Residents complained about the loss of parking spaces occupied by the stations, low usage and that residents owned their own bikes and didn’t need the service. A local community organisation viewed the expansion as a form of distraction from wider problems, such as the health issues of a community plagued by highest rates of diabetes and obesity, and also unemployment and poverty.
The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, under the Better Bike Share Partnership, teamed up with Motivate, the operators of Citi Bike, and the city’s Transportation and Health departments to get more people to use the system in a bid to improve the community’s overall quality of life. Filling the gaps in public transportation and giving a means of transportation to local people to go to job interviews, but also instituting corporate subsidies that allow employers to pay or participate in the annual membership’s expense. These were the keys to success against the fear of gentrification in the neighbourhood and the beginning of expansion in difficult areas.
Formula 1, the world’s most important auto racing championship, has decided to turn the page and aim for carbon neutrality with the support of its teams, drivers and the whole racing circus.
From “hybrid” culture to the Olympics. Toyota and LifeGate, a decade together for sustainable mobility
Toyota and LifeGate began telling the story of hybrid mobility back in 2006, now, on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, they’re still treading the path of sustainable mobility. Here are the main steps of the journey.
Germany’s first solar bicycle lane could be the prototype for the roads of the future. The photovoltaic tiles melt snow and ice, and are capable of absorbing noise.
The Vespa is back in an electric version. Production has just started and the first models can be reserved online starting from October.
The city of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, has inaugurated a bicycle path that brings together a bridge, the rooftop of a school and a garden.
The Lego hair bike helmet is the latest Internet craze. For now it’s just a prototype but production on a large scale will probably start soon.
Heir to the legendary Bulli van of the ‘60s, the official vehicle of the hippie movement, the new Volkswagen van is electric and self-driving. It has eight seats and can be turned into a living room. It will be produced starting from 2021.
Copenhagen has achieved an unprecedented result by investing in two-wheel mobility. Bikes now outnumber cars in Denmark’s capital.