Without access to digital tools, many Philadelphians couldn’t participate in a local bikeshare program. A program to boost digital literacy changed that.
Construction has begun on a new BioDome for Singapore’s JewelChangi Airport. Designed by Moshe Safdie Architects, the glass dome will cover nearly 1.5 million square feet of space and have retail, leisure and entertainment facilities as well as green spaces open to travelers and local residents. A Canopy Garden will hover over the main floor on tree-like columns and feature a natural environment filled with plants and flowers. Its focus will be an enormous waterfall at the very center. The Singapore BioDome will be constructed from glass panels…
Last week was the twentieth anniversary of Critical Mass, a spontaneous group bike ride that happens on the last Friday of each month. The popular Critical Mass rides began right here in San Francisco, and have already spread to hundreds of different cities across the globe. Now millions of people participate in these fun free events worldwide, temporarily turning our urban streets and thoroughfares into an endless sea of bikes.
Part of what makes San Francisco such an attractive (and unfortunately very expensive) place to reside is that it is a beautiful livable city — biking and pedestrian infrastructure improvements over the last decades have helped to positively transform our town into a much more pleasant urban environment. The SF Bicycle Coalition announced recently that, according to the official citywide bicycle count, over the last five years bike ridership has increased a whopping 71%.
During his first week as mayor of Ithaca, New York, Svante Myrick gave up his car so that he could walk to his job every day at City Hall. The newly elected 24-year-old official joined 15% of local residents in the city who already walk to work. And even though he does not need it, the mayor is still provided with a central downtown parking spot reserved for his official use. The progressive leader has decided to transform the private parking space into a tiny shared public park.
Asheville North Carolina is rolling out the next stages of its Multi-Modal transportation initiative at this year’s Strive Not To Drive program. This week-long event will illuminate how the city is planning improvements with pedestrian, cycling, vehicle and public transportation infrastructure. It is also call to the citizens of Asheville to evaluate their transportation choices, and to explore other sustainable mobility options that are becoming available.
While walking around the arts district in Asheville, North Carolina last week, I encountered a most ingenius piece of sustainable transportation infrastructure: a free public bicycle repair rack. In the past I have seen public bike air pumps before in other cities, but never one that was also integrated into a rack for hanging your bicycle, along with several accessible commonly used bike maintenance tools.
This is truly bizarre. In the United States there are now increasing incidents of marginal right wing protesters who are absolutely convinced that sustainable development projects, such as expanded public transit, smart energy meters and bike lanes, are part of a large secret United Nations plot to control all citizens and deny private property rights.
Imagine a road without lanes, without stop lights, without a bunch of signs. You back out of your driveway, close your garage door behind you, and drive at a slow but steady pace, alert to the fact that bicyclists and pedestrians have the same right of way as you. You don’t speed along, only slowing down because a sign up ahead notifies you that there’s a pedestrian crossing zone because everywhere is a pedestrian zone. You are more alert, more cautious, more conscientious of the road you share. Sounds farfetched, doesn’t it?
On PARK(ing) Day each year, citizens take back a bit of the green spaces lost to parking spaces. There is a message behind this event, and that is to demonstrate, in a very visual way, the quick decline in green spaces for humans, sacrificed for the ever-growing need for places to park our cars.
Continuing on with my Green NGO Highlighted series, which I got away from for a short time, here’s a cool one a good Facebook friend of mine shared with me nearly two months ago. It’s the Bamboo Bike Project, based in Africa, which combines two of the greenest things on the planet.. bamboo and bikes.
When we speak of “growing” a more sustainable local economy, the term is usually not meant literally; but in the case of an innovative design for a new transport vehicle, we may actually be able to grow our way into a more sustainable future. A beautiful new three-wheeled recumbent bicycle has been created that is constructed from renewable organic materials. The bamboo bike was derived from techniques used in arborsculpture, a more complex form of topiary, which utilizes specifically modified and grafted plants to create shaped structures which are very strong. The process is also known as “grown mobility”.
Streets should be child-friendly, don’t you think? I certainly think so, and so does Sustrans, a sustainable transport charity based in the United Kingdom. Sustrans has launched a competition for primary and secondary school children (7- to 14-year-olds) that has them designing their “dream streets.”
I’m a bicycle lover. In particular, I’m a huge proponent of bicycling for transportation purposes. Bicycles are super efficient (perhaps the most efficient transportation option out there), meaning they are very environmentally friendly and also save you and the city a ton of money. They are also a ton of fun to ride, good for your health, good for your mind, and highly accessible. But, in some cases, using your own bike for transportation purposes is impractical. For, this reason, from the first time I heard about bicycle sharing programs (like the huge one in Paris, Velib), I fell in love with them.