LJUBLJANA BIKE BASE INITIATIVE
The number of cyclists in urban areas is growing, the need for cyclist-friendly stops and small repair stations grows along with it. The function of cyclist-friendly stop may not be limited only to small repairs but can also play vital role as socializing and information point as well as knowledge and experience sharing base.
Sustainable mobility represents one of the biggest challenges we face today – and in the future. How to enjoy a high level of mobility with a minimum of harmful impact on the local and larger global environments? Next to walking, cycling is the most democratic and environmentally friendly way of commuting.
As the number of cyclists in urban areas is growing, the need for cyclist-friendly stops and small repair stations grows along with it. The function of cyclist-friendly stop may not be limited only to small repairs but can also play vital role as socializing and information point as well as knowledge and experience sharing base.
The cyclist’s friendly station
Such kind of a station should follow sustainability principles as much as possible, with materials used and high degree of energetic self-sufficiency and low energy consumption.
All fittings, fixtures and equipment must be approved as top-class energy efficient and certified.
There should be low thermal transmittance of the building. It must fulfill current and future energy efficient building guidelines and regulations. Use of renewable resources must be maximized. In this sense the potential of sun should fulfill energy needs over a certain period of the year.
It should also be flexible, easy to build as temporary or permanent building and also flexible in size being modular, where elements could be added if the need for more functional space would grow.
The stop should also be flexible when implemented in local environment. It could be used as a temporary setup for events or base working throughout the year.
Modular space architecture offers sensible answer to above-mentioned challenges. It is easy to transport, environmentally friendly, reusable and recyclable.
The city of Ljubljana and Trimo company, an organizer of Trimo Urban Crash competition for students of architecture and design, decided to invite students to research the use of modular architecture for cyclists friendly station called Bike Base. There was a particular location in Ljubljana dedicated for exploration, but wider idea was to search on global scope and have in mind possible adaptations of Bike Base in various cities around the world. Students from 37 countries have submitted 220 projects and some of them you can see among Cycling Visionaries competition.
Wide scope of functions fulfilled in Bike Base
The Bike Base would be dedicated to cyclists who will use it to make small repairs, enjoy a coffee, browse the net and their mail via WI-FI, refresh with a cold drink, top off their tire pressure or charge a battery – or just chat with others in a friendly, urban setting.
But the Bike Base would also serve wider social purpose.
Bike Base would function as a point serving information about cycling in the city.
It would be used as educational point, where cyclists would learn about how to maintain bicycles, how to make small repairs and also about safety. It would be learning and experience sharing centre.
Cycling counselling is another possible function for support to a growing cycling community.
It could serve also as meeting place for various cycling subcultures that are growing in number in every urban environment.
Bike Base would be also an attractive place to organize cycling and artists event.
Management of Bike Base
It is expected to be self-sufficient also in economic terms. The content and social scope offer ideal opportunity for development of social non-profit type entrepreneurship combined with volunteering, where users or groups of users would contribute their time and work in exchange for possibility to use Bike Base for their particular cycling interest.
On the other hand such a Bike Base offers a good opportunity for content partners, companies in cycling industry and also companies from other industries that are dedicated to follow sustainable principles and could use the Bike Base in exchange for their support as the communication point with public.
Borut Sočan, Trimo Urban Crash Team
Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design