urbanus vulgaris

urban life & culture / ideas & insights / innovation & development

Category: traffic

How far is 5 min walking

by gailiute

 

 

Some time ago we had discussions why people do not choose public transport to reach university campus in Kaunas (Kaunas University of Technology campus), instead they drive cars even if they live in convenient location to a bus stops, close to campus, etc.

Well apparently taking a bus sometimes can take more than an hour to reach campus, while one can spend less than 15 minutes driving the same distance.

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 15.06.12

time spent travelling

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 14.54.01

5min (400m) walking distance from bus stops

There are many reasons for such an inadequacy,  starting from (probably) inefficient bus routes and bus stops that are quite far from campus itself.

This research is only small part of an ongoing project.

Eventual goal is to ensure sustainable future development of this campus. Making it better accessible by public transport instead of private cars is one small milestone to reach.

 

Advertisements

Pedestrian friendly suburb without cars – Vauban, Germany

by gailiute

Recently I came across a nice example of working design that favours pedestrians and bicycles more than cars.

800px-Ecoquartier_Vauban_Freibourg3

The new (started mid 1990’s, construction finished in 2006) suburban development –  Vauban neighbourhood is based on a fused grid (first introduced in 2002, it offers the best of two widely known street patterns: grid and radburn) that favours active movement by foot or bike inside the neighbourhood and filters out the cars.

VaubanTraficNetwork-Schematic

Cars can enter local streets to access the houses, but the parking there is strictly forbidden. Car owners can park their vehicles only in two spots: the large garages at the end of location. In addition to that, residents of Vauban have to declare whether they own a car yearly  and in case they do, the are obliged to buy a parking space as well (which is not extremely cheap). However restrictions on car parking and such disfavouring of car ownership is compensated by a tram line which is within easy walking distance from every home.

Positive effect of this design is already visible in statistical data: “As of 2009 around 70% of the households had chosen to live without a private car. The level of car ownership has fallen over time. An earlier survey showed over 50% of households owned a car; of those who were living carfree, 81% had previously owned one and 57% gave up their cars on or immediately after moving to Vauban.” (Nobis, 2003, cited in wiki:)) 

And. Besides smart selection of pedestrians over cars, this neighbourhood is built according to low energy consumption standards: “100 units designed to the Passivhaus ultra-low energy building standard. Other buildings are heated by a combined heat and power station burning wood chips, while many of the buildings have Solar collectors or photovoltaic cells. Perhaps the best example of sustainable building is the Solar Settlement in Vauban, a 59 PlusEnergy home housing community. It is the first housing community world wide in which all the homes produce a positive energy balance. The solar energy surplus is then sold back into the city’s grid for a profit on every home.” (again, source: wiki). 

This project sounds great! Agree? ;)

 

Solarsiedlung_von_oben 327737739_b1bb1f8927 smart-urban-planning

 

Designing the speed, not limiting it

by gailiute

This is a great example how traffic can become less of a problem in a living environment. In this case this is a story about a village of Poynton that used to be on the crossing of two extremelly busy roads. Well, it did not vanished anywhere, it is still in the same place, however the new approach to the crossing seemed to be such a good investment, that it started pay off right from the very first days, both by reducing risks of crossing the roads and by improving liveability of the village public space.

The idea is quite simple, yet genuine and brave – to get rid of the traffic lights  by designing the speed instead of limiting it. The concept of shared space is already in some countries, like the Netherlands, but for the village of Poynton it was quite challenging experience.

Looks that it works just great!

I found the video here.

Contemporary future bicycle for urban commuter. Lithuanian designed folding e-bicycle Fwave.

by vytasvulgaris

Fwave 1Fwave 2

 

Bicycle gives freedom to travel daily on selected pace and route, claims Lithuanian designer Viktorija Čegytė. According to Viktorija, designing a bicycle for a contemporary citizen it is important to understand, that an urban cyclist must not necessarily be a professional cyclist or cycling enthusiast. Therefore cycling should be easy and comfortable. The other important task is to integrate bicycle in the public transport system thus extending advantages of both modes. Compact minimalistic design folding electric bicycle Fwave aims to be a casual accessory of an urban commuter.

more about the project: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Fwave-Bicycle/6063335

Read more in Lithuanian : http://www.dindin.lt/#page=465

 

 

Detroit: Requiem for the City on the Move

by vytasvulgaris

Michigan Theatre (now parking garage), Detroit. Photography by Sean Doerr

Here is a great story of Detroit revealing itself through two wonderful films. The first one is “Requiem for Detroit?”, a 2010 BBC Two documentary by Julien Temple. The second one is  “Detroit: City on the Move”, a  1965 promo film narrated by then-mayor Jerome P. Cavanaugh.  The promo film could be a perfect intro into this tragically fascinating story, however, to make it even more grotesque my suggestion is to watch it in non-chronological order, so first Requiem for Detroit, then Detroit: City on the Move. Enjoy!

video link a: “Requiem for Detroit?” (2010)

“Julien Temple’s new film is a vivid evocation of an apocalyptic vision: a slow-motion Katrina that has had many more victims. Detroit was once America’s fourth largest city. Built by the car for the car, with its groundbreaking suburbs, freeways and shopping centres, it was the embodiment of the American dream. But its intense race riots brought the army into the city. With violent union struggles against the fierce resistance of Henry Ford and the Big Three, it was also the scene of American nightmares. Now it is truly a dystopic post-industrial city, in which 40 per cent of the land in the centre is returning to prairie. Greenery grows up through abandoned office blocks, houses and collapsing car plants, and swallows up street lights. Police stations and post offices have been left with papers on the desks like the Marie Celeste. There is no more rush hour on what were the first freeways in America. Crime, vandalism, arson and dog fighting are the main activities in once the largest building in North America. But it’s also a source of hope. Streets are being turned to art. Farming is coming back to the centre of the city. Young people are flocking to help. The burgeoning urban agricultural movement is the fastest growing movement in the US. Detroit leads the way again but in a very different direction.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00rkm3y

 

How the Dutch got their cycle paths

by vytasvulgaris

 

Brief and sharp documentary which brings  through the Dutch cycling history of the last century within 6 min. With numbers, facts and simple  analysis that gives summarized and clear answer.

http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/how-the-dutch-got-their-cycling-infrastructure/

The Pedal Project: Three Cycling Cities – From Dublin to London to Amsterdam

by vytasvulgaris

 

“When you picture a council junket you never see the fold up bike, the ferry and the cycle cafe. DCTV goes on a whirlwind (read cheap and quick – the way we all travel now) trip to look at models for European cycling along with the Dublin City Council cycling officer Ciaran Fallon. Along the way they meet bloggers and fashion designers and activists who all, incidentally, cycle bikes. We see how normal cycling is all across Europe.

The establishment of a cycling office in Dublin City Council is part of a visible commitment to cycling as a transport solution in our city. This programme gets inside not only what the cycling officer is dong but what he’s thinking, what he thinks Dublin can look like and what he’s basing some of this on.” http://vimeo.com/10095272

More Information Project:
dctv.ie/main/?p=1671

 

Genre De Vie (sneak preview)

by vytasvulgaris

 

Genre de Vie is a documentary film about bicycles, cities and personal awareness. It looks at desired space and our own impact to the process of it. The film documents urban life empowered by the simplicity of the bicycle  (http://www.genredevie.com).

Here our friends film makers introduce a sneak preview already showing some pure thoughts and insights wraped in amazing imagery and motion. The rest is comming up this winter.

Brussels Express

by vytasvulgaris

 

A fresh 19 min documentary by Sander Vandenbroucke about why traffic in Brussels is a tragedy, about  success of pioneer bike messengers and about insights and tips from the major of Copenhagen.

http://www.brusselsexpressfilm.be/

%d bloggers like this: