Budapest has long held a special place in my heart, more than just the home to my alma mater, Central European University. The city is incredibly beautiful and deeply creative when it comes to public space planning. It has an amazing bar scene that makes use of dilapidated buildings or unused lots, turning them into so-called ruin… Read More Budapest: Liberty Bridge becomes spontaneous public space due to construction
I’m often silent on #BlackLivesMatter. It’s not to say I don’t care; I care deeply. But what can I offer more than solidarity in sadness of lives unnecessarily lost? Then, on my bus ride home in Seattle last night, I stumbled upon a #BlackLivesMatter protest, in light of the recent tragic killings of Philando Castile, of Alton Sterling,… Read More Reflections on Seattle’s #BlackLivesMatter Protest: How can we come together?
The Dutch are fantastic at making fun of their quirky cycle culture, while simultaneously marketing this cycle-centric city planning model as the preferred option for countless (non-Dutch) cities to follow. I have to agree: with a central focus on city cycling for transportation, together with the consequent bicycle lifestyle that emerges with it, it is the envy of many cities… I love this 2-part… Read More How many objects, people, pets… can one Dutch cyclist carry on 2 wheels?
I’ve been a bit spoiled over the last years, calling European cities like Budapest, Lund, Malmö and Amsterdam as home. All of these cities have amazing bike lanes, segregated from oncoming vehicular traffic, making cycling the preferred option. While I’m happy that my home city of Seattle is following suit in some parts of the city,… Read More Forging the path: cyclists light up their own lanes
Homelessness is on the rise in many U.S. cities, in part due to a lack of affordable housing. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, some 600,000 people are homeless. Many cities lack the capacity to provide adequate shelter, and in some instances, local laws criminalize sleeping in public spaces. Homeless populations are… Read More Nashville: ‘Tiny Homes’ for the Homeless
I love my bicycle: the freedom, the chance to combine fresh air, exercise and transport, the interaction with fellow cyclists and the affordability. Cycling makes me happy… and I’m not the only one. Daily cycling (i.e. consistent exercise) is good for mental health and the bicycle’s consistent and perpetual motion can improve memory, reasoning and planning, while… Read More Happiness is… a bicycle lane, a bus stop or light rail line close to home.
It’s that time of year again in the Northern Hemisphere: it’s cold, dark way too soon (if the sun even shows) and often rainy. To compensate, cities fill with colourful lights and decorated trees. I’ve done a bit of decorating, but just the bare minimum – what I can get on a bicycle and up… Read More Three years and counting: Amsterdam Cycle City
With a variety of traffic calming measures and bicycle promotion, Paris is quickly becoming a cycle city – although this takes time, so one needs to exercise some caution concerning where you bike (trust me)! 🙂 Still, with its famous Velib bike-sharing (and car-sharing) systems, great parks, public spaces and expanded bicycle lanes; the bicycle is… Read More Paris: reclaiming the city for cyclists & pedestrians
Beyond energy-efficiency or green technology, what if buildings could actually mitigate urban pollution problems? Well, architects Allison Dring and Daniel Schwaag of Berlin-based Elegant Embellishments are attempting to do just that. They developed a tile with the catchy name of proSolve370e. This tile, based on its shape and chemical coating, is designed to eliminate urban pollutants… Read More Mexico City: Smog eating buildings combine fashion and function in architecture
Swedish design students Anna Haupt and Terese Alstin decided to take on the challenge to develop an invisible bike helmet (think deployable air bags in a car) as part of a school project at Lund University (my alma mater!) What started as an exam project soon turned into a venture capital quest with 10 million in… Read More An invisible bike helmet for the urban cyclist