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Urban Cycling : Use and Importance

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Ayushi Arora
Is an architect, a passionate writer and has a keen interest in UX/UI Designing. Apart from writing, she is fond of exploring the unseen parts of the city through the eyes of an architect.

As kids we were delighted when we started riding a bicycle, then we grew up, and started using motor-vehicles but little did we think about the impact of these vehicles on the environment, and the natural resources we’ve been using mindlessly.

Urban Cycling

It is alternating bicycles with your cars and other motor vehicles. Therefore, Urban Cycling is a step closer to the conscious stepping in of human beings in the environment. Being aware of the ongoing trends is necessary as it helps architects, urban designers to implement the same with empathy and usability.

To make a place more social and sustainable, cycling has given a wide array of such options for the cities, though it is difficult in large cities where the travel distance is comparatively more and not achievable by cycling. The cities could rely more on public transports in that case. Recently, NYC has put a clock for the time that has predicted that irreversible climate changes will happen in around 7 years, which is less than a decade. So, it is high time human beings start working on the ways to combat it.

On 12 April 2018, the United Nations (UN) declared 3 June as the first official World Bicycle Day to promote cycling in all its forms with the aim of making people more aware of the multiple societal benefits of using the bicycle for transport and leisure.

Design Cycling friendly cities

Any change in the society’s thinking and psychology can directly impact the making of the city, for which an architect is responsible. This ensures the implementation of the same in the city, streets, residence, and parks. Though urban cycling seems like a perfect idea to be implemented, and help in reformation of the environmental concerns we have, we need to deal with it in a manner that it does not harm the users. Since Urban Cycling is something new and people have not adopted this idea, they’ve used it for recreation purposes.

As designers, architects, and planners, we can influence and sometimes show them how to change themselves. The use of public transports is required and agreed upon in large cities, but can we implement a way which influences people to use more bicycles than cars, bikes, etc. by planning the cities better.

Some of the cities which are already Urban Cycling friendly are :

1. Copenhagen is often considered the most bike-friendly city in the world. Tourists are often overwhelmed by the number of bicycles flying by, and children are taught to ride before they’re even old enough to go to school. Thanks to bicycle-friendly measures taken by the city, nearly half of all Copenhageners commute to work by bike, and 35 per cent of all people who work in Copenhagen—those who live in the suburbs included—commute on their bicycles.

2. Amsterdam is full of bicycles, and it is said that the city can’t be experienced without using riding bicycling and taking a spin around the city. There are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam, which means there are more bikes than people. The relatively flat streets often filled with bicycles: People use them to go to work, drop children at school, and cart around groceries.

3. Montreal, Canada has around 600 kilometres of cycling tracks, and people have started commuting to work on bicycles, or at least to recreational places, and going for groceries on the bicycle.

4. Tokyo, Japan is known for its thoughtful accommodation of new technologies, methods, and ways of development. This is how they advance before people even start thinking about the things that need to be changed. In Tokyo, People have already adapted the techniques necessary for the environment. This is what makes them conscious than the rest of the world would ever be. It is not only for leisure, but the actual objective of climate change for which they’ve taken Urban cycling into consideration.

5. Paris, France is a hotspot for tourists have soon taken over the new trend of bicycling and exploring the city, this saves a lot of fuel as tourists emphasize on bicycling more than driving, or taking taxis.  There are about 20,000 rental bikes available at 1800 stations throughout town. Since the introduction of the bike-sharing program in 2007, bikeways have begun to pop up all over the bustling city.

In India, the trend was always frowned upon or is too risky because people barely follow traffic rules. But in Chandigarh, they’re taking the initiative to separate the lanes for bike riders which could become a great initiative to promote bicycling. This has also been encouraged in parts of the National Capital, like the Cannaught Place, In-campus cycling practices, etc.

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