Activists, advocates…scabs

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I have a vested interest in writing this: too many so-called bicycle advocates belong to a category my unionist forebears would have called scabs. More polite but less accurate are words like a dilettante, outsider, amateur, or non-professional. Some are doctors—how I would love to establish free try-your-luck surgeries next door to theirs! Some are engineers—gee, … Read more

Canberra: the post-ceremonial city

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A nice processional route, like the avenue of Rams on the way to the temple of Karnak, is handy in a city. Ditto for set pieces, like the piazza framing views of St. Peters in Rome (hi to all of the students who have come with me to that spot to analyze Bernini’s fine tricks … Read more

Bike Plans For Cities That Cycling Forgot

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A renaissance in urban cycling is forging ahead in many cities, generally, ones that are dense, flat, and that have a wealth of building stock predating the age of basement garaging. But what if the city you live in isn’t like that? What if your city happens to be one of the thousands worldwide that grew late, … Read more

Imagining Plato’s Ideal Republic of Cycling

Books have been written about the wild enthusiasm with which the architectural community approached the possibilities presented by cars in the twentieth century (1, 2, 3). None, though, have mentioned a gaping hole in one piece of their logic that doesn’t tally with their espoused claims about rationalization. Whether designing a town plan, a house, … Read more

Healthy Green Transport for a Small City. 2.

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Map all the existing and potential routes for bike paths that are nowhere near cars against the redundant industrial sites those bike paths could unlock for bicycle-oriented redevelopment. For about a year now, I’ve hypothesized that that is the first planning step toward making bicycling oases in cities otherwise overridden by cars. The cities we … Read more