Category Archives: Citizens Initiative

Cycling Referendum in Berlin: When Politicians Are Compelled to Act

Volksentscheid Fahrrad, Beginn der Unterschriftensammlung Mai 2016
Volksentscheid Fahrrad, Beginn der Unterschriftensammlung Mai 2016

Berlin’s Volksentscheid Fahrrad initiative (VEF), launched in November 2015, has within a very short time kindled an unprecedented public debate about cycling. The “Radentscheid” has become a perennial favourite of the Berlin media (see Media Coverage) and is now recognised in Germany and even internationally. Reason enough for Bremenize to look at what has happened in Berlin since its formation, and what we can learn for ourselves. Should we consider a similar initiative in Bremen?

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Parking Day in Bremen Neustadt

What a nice and friendly way to get into contact with people!

A great opportunity to exchange ideas about living in the city, about transport policy priorities for pedestrians, bicycles and public transport, on community life, on CO2 and climate issues and whatever is on peoples minds when doing their Friday afternoon/weekend shopping! Some even took the opportunity to join us on the parking place we had payed for and have a game of chess…

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Out of the Blue

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The Neustadt, a densely populated district of Bremen on the south bank of the river Weser, is described in official literature as offering quiet streets with charming old houses. However, like so many other such areas, the charm is cursed by the demands of the car and its proponents. So when we, a group of local residents took the initiative to try to calm their streets, the hope was that the local authority – with a Green Party senator running the transport department – would look kindly on our efforts, but the reaction was the absolute opposite.
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Initiative Biebricher Straße to screen the film “The Human Scale”

In pursuit of our desire for a more human scale usage of public space in our street Biebricher Straße, in the Bremen Neustadt district, we will be screening and discussing the film:

 “The Human Scale” (Dir. Andreas Dalsgaars), Danmark, 2012 Duration: 77 mins

Activists from other initiatives are very welcome to share the evening with us:

Thursday 15. September 2016, 8pm

in the room on the ground floor of the house in Bachstraße 38, Bremen Neustadt.

times-square

The human scale questions our assumptions about modernity, exploring what happens when we put people into the center of our equations. For 40 years the Danish architect Jan Gehl has systematically studied human behavior in cities. His starting point was an interest in people, more than buildings – in what he called Life Between Buildings. What made it exist? When was it destroyed? How could it be brought back? This lead to studies of how human beings use the streets, how they walk, see, rest, meet, interact etc. Jan Gehl also uses statistics, but the questions he asks are different. For instance: How many people pass this street throughout a 24 hour period? How many percent of those are pedestrians? How many are driving cars or bikes? How much of the street space are the various groups allowed to use? Is this street performing well for all its users? Jan Gehl made his first studies in Italy and later he inspired the planning of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, for 40 years. His ideas inspired the creation of walking streets, the building and improvements of bike paths and the reorganization of parks, squares and other public spaces throughout this city and in many other cities in the Nordic region. Around the world cities like Melbourne, Dhaka, New York, Chongqing and Christchurch are now also being inspired by Gehl’s work and by the developments in Copenhagen.