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Washington, DC (March 29, 2021)—In 1988, before he was an internationally-renowned urban design expert, Mikael Colville-Andersen was hit by a car while crossing the street. Witnesses were convinced he couldn’t have survived, but fortunately the then-student sustained only minor injuries. Looking back, Colville-Andersen credits that near-death experience with molding his philosophy about urban development. To create cities that are safe, profitable, and designed for people rather than cars, we need to turn to the single most important tool at our disposal: the bicycle.
Copenhagenize (Publication Date: March 29, 2021) is an inspirational guide for unleashing the full potential of the bicycle. Building on Colville-Anderson’s popular blog of the same name and related to his TV series, Life-Sized City, the book aims to elevate the bicycle from a tolerated urbanism tag-along to a respected, accepted, and feasible form of transport for everyone.
In full color with more than 200 stunning photos and graphics, the book offers vivid project descriptions, engaging stories, and best practices for making the bicycle an easy, preferred part of everyday life. Copenhagenize draws lessons from the successes and failures of its titular city, but also from elsewhere around the world, including Seville, Buenos Aires, Minneapolis, Almetyevsk, and Bordeaux.
In his signature style—funny, snarky, engaging—Colville-Andersen busts myths that people won’t cycle up hills or in the cold or rain, and offers valuable insights on protected bike lanes, cargo bike logistics, and how simple changes like the naming of a “conversation lane” instead of a “fast lane” can encourage more people to ride.
A self-described “dude on a bike”— a modern city dweller who uses a bicycle to get around because it is safe and efficient—Colville-Andersen warns of the limitations of conflating sports cycling with regular citizens choosing cycling for transport and points to effective communication campaigns from Vienna, Pittsburgh, Oslo, and more.
Copenhagenize will serve as inspiration for everyone working to get the bicycle back into our cities. As Colville-Andersen observes in the introduction, despite decades of car-centric development, children still learn to ride a bike, even if they don’t have anywhere safe to ride it afterwards. Copenhagenize images a different, safer future—and shows us how to get there.
Mikael Colville-Andersen is a Danish-Canadian urban design expert and CEO of Copenhagenize Design Company, which he founded in 2009. He works with cities and governments around the world, designing their bicycle infrastructure and communications and coaching them towards becoming more bicycle friendly. He is a sought-after keynote speaker at design and architecture conferences and events around the world and is the host of the global television series about urbanism, The Life-Sized City.
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