The One Billion Bicycles Project
From 1 June 2012 to 1 June 2013 young journalist and filmmaker Bojun Bjorkman-Chiswell undertook to document the stories of the world's One Billion Bicycles. Traveling to 5 continents, 30 countries, 50 cities and conducting over 200 interviews, the importance of the bicycle to humanity is revealed via the stories of whole cities in transition, through to one man for whom "the bicycle is a life".
The bicycle is the world's most affordable, healthy and convenient mode of personal transport. It gives legs to polo victims in Mozambique, provides affordable ambulance services to Zambia's poorest, enables children in Kenya (who normally arrive fatigued from a long walk) to reach school fresh to learn, it carries goods for sale at market of up to 200kg in Malawi, and enables the rapid movement of goods, services and ideas in the world's most congested cities. Yet, around the world the bicycle is marginalised & moved on to make way for private vehicles, & its right to road space removed, or simply not catered for. To name just one example, the BodaBoda bicycle taxi men of Kisumu, Kenya, who were once able to pay for their children's education with the earnings of their bicycle taxis, are now being locked out of the city centre, their best customer source, by a government intent on making way for private vehicles. The marginalization of bicycles from urban centers is a global phenomenon. Even in Europe's bicycle capitals there is an active process by governments, car lobbies and drivers to squeeze bicycle to the edges of society, the road and life. However, this process is taking its toll. Governments are loosing billion as cities stall and economies falter, the health of children is suffering and the livability of the world's greatest cities being eroded by heavy traffic, noise pollution and road trauma. The One Billion Bicycles Project is the a world first in documenting the views of politicians, the press and the public alike, on the importance of the world's simplest, yet most powerful, form of transportation. The project has already inspired Lord Mayors to rethink their city's bicycle strategy, Minister to question their goals for bicycle use, given a voice to people never before heard by the main stream media, and created connections between bicycle advocates around the world. The One Billion Bicycles Project is being funded by the personal savings of the filmmaker because bicycles matter.