Bike Your City
Using Wellington City, New Zealand as a design case study, the Bike Your City project focused on the planning and designing components of cycling infrastructure from an architectural perspective. It aimed to gain a better understanding for what cycling facilities to design and how to design them in order to improve usability and legibility of the transport system in the urban environment.
Cycling is a memory of the past for most of us, the lack of support from the authorities on the cycling infrastructure made it difficult to attract people to cycle in the city. Urban sprawl, traffic congestion, car dependency, environmental pollution and public health concerns has pressured cities around the world to consider reintegrating cycling into the urban environment.
Design as a research method was utilised to investigate the effectiveness of design methodology and workflow for cycling infrastructure from an architecture and design perspective. Using Wellington City as a design case study, this project aimed to improve the legibility, usability and the image of cycling as a mode of transport in the city. To achieve this, a customisable graphical design framework was developed to produce the design outcomes, also branding strategies were explored to provide the cycling infrastructure with semiotic structure. The considerations for semiotic relationships between designs within the overall cycling infrastructure concluded in positive design outcomes, which ultimately lead to improvements of the cohesion of design language and the legibility of the cycling transport system. The findings from the iterative design processes were visualised through the appropriate drawings and diagrams, sketches, computer modelling, architectural drawing and presentation renderings.
Through this project, the relationship between the cycling infrastructure and the existing built environment was constantly tested; the impacts of the resulting comprehensive and cohesive cycling package for cities has far exceeded the initial expectations. The design outcomes of this project gained an idealistic view of what cycling could be in a city. The planning considered the city as a whole while the design of individual facilities searched for methods to increase the legibility and the image of cycling as an urban transportation system.
By providing insights into the issues of cycling infrastructure from an architectural and design perspective, this project was able to reach beyond the political, policy and funding barriers to produce a vision that places the planning and design solutions of infrastructure within the wider context of cycling. This research project makes an important contribution to the planning and designing of cycling infrastructure and the understanding of its relationship with the urban form, and this ultimately would provoke further research on the relationship of cycling and the urban form within the fields of design and architecture in order to create higher quality bicycle-friendly cities around the world.
Jack J. Jiang
Wellington, New Zealand
Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design