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Mobility: The Latest Architecture and News

How Bicycles Empowered Women to Occupy Public Spaces

Photo by Janwillemsen, via Flickr. License CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Photo by Janwillemsen, via Flickr. License CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Let me tell you what I think of the bicycle. It has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a sense of freedom and self-confidence. I appreciate every time I see a woman cycling... an image of freedom”. Susan Anthony, one of the most important American suffragette leaders, said this at the beginning of the 20th century, praising the libertarian power represented by women and their bicycles at the time.

Lisbon Approves Free Public Transport for Young and Elderly

Photo: Claudio Schwarz | Unsplash
Photo: Claudio Schwarz | Unsplash

Lisbon city counsil almost unanimously approved the proposal of free public transport for young people up to 18 years old, higher education students up to 23 years old and people over 65 years old.

This free pass, which should encourage the use of public transport, is valid for residents of the city. The decision was announced by the mayor Carlos Moedas.

Why Walking Can Be Faster Than Driving

In 1854, the American writer Henry David Thoreau wrote the classic work “Walden”, recounting his experience of life in the woods and extolling the advantages of simple and self-sufficient life. Right at the beginning of the book, the author comments that, if someone wants to travel 48 km to visit the countryside, it would be faster to walk than to opt for a locomotive.

What’s the Matter with American Cities?

This article was originally published on Common Edge.

For frequent travelers to Europe, it is frustrating to see the increasingly different urban conditions on the other side of the Atlantic. In Europe, cities are largely appreciated and embraced, and have turned into high-quality environments for inclusive and sustainable living. Copenhagen’s bike lanes—and, not too far away, Oslo’s car-free downtown—elicit admiring blog posts and articles on this side of the pond at a steady clip. Holland’s pedestrian- and bike-friendly urban designs attract their own share of starry-eyed fans. Berlin is holding a referendum to exclude cars from its inner city, an area larger than Manhattan. In Madrid, the mayor who restricted cars from accessing the city center did lose reelection, but her successor was forced to halt his efforts to rescind those policies by a groundswell of popular fury.

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Los Angeles Ends Free Public Transportation Experiment with Future Plans of Reduced-Fare Transits

Following California's Covid-19 health regulations in early 2020, Metro, the Los Angeles public transit agency stopped collecting fares on its busses as a safety precaution measure. However, the company's decision turned into the United States' biggest free-transit experiment, as ridership never dipped below 50 percent, even with the stay-at-home orders enforced by the government. Following 22 months of the decision and around 281 million fare-free transits, the company has decided to restart collecting fares, but is planning on using the information gathered throughout these two years to implement future improvements and introduce other free or reduced-fare programs in the city.

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Berlin Citizens Propose World's Largest Car-Free Area in the German Capital

Volksentscheid Berlin Autofrei (People’s Decision for Auto-Free Berlin), has proposed a plan to limit cars within Berlin's Ringbahn, a long circle route around the inner city, making it the world's largest car-free area once approved. The citizen-initiative is aimed mostly at banning the use of private cars in central Berlin, with the exception of emergency vehicles, garbage trucks, taxis, delivery vehicles, and residents with limited mobility, who would all be given special access permits.

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Milan to Introduce "Super-Cycle" Corridors Across City by 2035

As part of Milan's ongoing vision of bicycle-friendly highways, the Metropolitan Council of Milan has approved its Biciplan “Cambio” project, a new transportation system that introduces "super-cycle" corridors across the urban fabric, prioritizing cycling, environmental protection, safety, and wellbeing. The project aims to compliment existing cycle paths with 750 kilometers of new corridors that will connect the city's 133 communes with its wider metropolitan area, and increase the amount of bicycle trips and reach by 10% internally and 20% on a greater scale.

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Taking Comfort Anywhere: A Conversation About Mobile Saunas

Saunas are inseparable from the culture of Nordic countries and they are increasing in popularity as a result of their many physical and mental health benefits. Their projects are usually quite archetypal, combining efficiency and sobriety.

We spoke with Jakob Gate, co-founder of Native Narrative & Scandinavian Sauna, who has been developing sauna projects that combine the flexibility of being transported anywhere, with the expertise and tradition of Scandinavian design. They work without electricity, heated by wood, while LED lighting is provided by a rechargeable battery. Learn more in the following interview:

"Our Cities are not Designed for the Disabled" According to CityLab

Although disability laws have been put in place decades ago, architects are still struggling with disability requirements. A recent article by CityLab explored how the rise of speed and efficiency-driven cities have overlooked accessibility, neglecting the needs of people who are physically unable to live or keep up with these dense neighborhoods. And while the "15-Minute City", one that allows people to walk or bike to most essential services within 15 minutes of their home, may seem as the future of built environments, it does not cater to disabled individuals or their movements.

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Foster + Partners Designs Monumental Mobility Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai

Designed by Foster + Partners, Alif-The Mobility Pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai blurs the boundaries between the physical and digital world, and invites visitors to meet the historical icons of mobility, whose innovations helped pave the way for our modern-day technology. The pavilion features the world’s largest passenger lift, which will be able to transport 160+ people at a time, and a semi-underground-semi-open-air 330-meter track which allows visitors to see cutting-edge mobility devices in action.

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The Belgian Pavilion at the 2020 Dubai Expo Displays the Country's 2050 Mobility Vision

Titled "The Green Arch", the Belgian pavilion at the 2020 Dubai Expo highlights the emergence of connected green cities through its industrial, technological, and scientific knowledge. The pavilion, which is part of the Mobility district of the exhibition, consists of an arched, floral monolith that combines "Latin romanticism in the field of art and Anglo-Saxon technical precision in the industrial branches". The pavilion is designed by Belgian architects ASSAR ARCHITECTS and Vincent Callebaut Architectures, and will be represented by BelExpo, an autonomous department under the Belgian Ministry of Economy.

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Jennifer Toole Makes the Case for Better Bike Networks

Jennifer Toole, ASLA, is the founder and President of Toole Design and has over 30 years of experience planning and designing multimodal transportation systems. A certified planner with a degree in landscape architecture, Toole has a strong background in urban design. She has been involved in numerous projects of national significance for the Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Cities on the Move: What the Experts Predict for the Future of Urban Mobility

In our increasingly urbanized world, everything and everyone has adopted a lifestyle of nomadism. New environmental and social constraints have forced people to have a constant "on-the-go" behavior, so much so that almost everything has acquired wheels, even the buildings. But with the rise of debates like "is humankind being replaced by robots?" and "is technology taking over?", urban mobility has helped give access to housing, healthcare, and education in places with extreme difficult conditions.

To shed the light on globally-thriving mobile activities, the France-based Institut pour Ville en Mouvement, or City on the Move Institute, is an organization that has been addressing the challenges posed by urban mobility and contributing to the emergence of innovative solutions. In a series of short Youtube clips, the organization invited experts in the fields of architecture, urban planning, and technology to share their insights on the future of urban mobility.

What We Can (and Can’t) Learn from Copenhagen

This article was originally published on Common Edge

I spent four glorious days in Copenhagen in 2017 and left with an acute case of urban envy. (I kept thinking: It’s like..an American Portland—except better.) Why can’t we do cities like this in the United States? That’s the question an urban nerd like me asks while strolling the famously pedestrian-friendly streets, as hordes of impossibly blond and fit Danes bicycle briskly past.

UNStudio Completes First 37 Stations on the Doha Metro Network, in Qatar

UNStudio has unveiled images of the first finished stations on the new Doha Metro Network, one of the most advanced and fastest driverless systems in the world. Phase one of the Qatar Integrated Railway Project (QIRP), involved the construction of three metro lines (Red, Green, and Gold), with 37 stations currently having been completed.

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