Last month, on 24th November, the Office for Road Traffic (ASV) made public its plans for the conversion of Scharnhorststraße to a Cycle Street. The project, part of the city’sTraffic Development Plan (VEP) 2025, was presented to the meeting of the Advisory Council Schwachhausen on 24.11.2016.
The term “Model Bike Neighbourhood” (Fahrradmodellquartier) awakens fantasies and desires in me. It sounds like “city of the future” and rather cool. It sounds like a neighbourhood, in which everyone can move in the public space with the same right and without fear. People like to hang around outside and engage in conversation or participate in public life. Cargo bikes are being shared and walkways and spaces are free from parking cars. Nobody is run over by two-ton metal boxes, nobody is harked at or pushed aside. Air is pure – besides the Neustadt watermark of malt and liquid chocolate – and you can hear the birds singing. Cars play but a marginal role.
The second post in our series about Cycle Streets follows a team as they look more closely at some of Bremen’s former, current and future Cycle Streets. They found that, not only is car parking a dominant factor in driving their development, but there is also a forgotten victim – Bremen’s trees.
Cycle Streets are an important issue in Bremen. Over the coming weeks we’ll be publishing a short series of posts on the theme. The first comes from Gudrun Eickelberg, a Green politician and artist.
In recent years, Bremen’s status as a Cycling City has been officially articulated by setting up a number of so-called Fahrradstraßen – Cycle Streets. For example, Bremen’s Transport Development Plan 2025 states that “Cycle Streets (…) are to be established in the main cycle network and in roads with an important connection function and high cycling traffic”.
Jan Gehl – Architect, Urban Planner, Visionary and Humanist
Jan Gehl is an experienced architect and urban planner from Copenhagen with a very special view on his environment. Today he has become something of a patron for pedestrians and cyclists. Continue reading Jan Gehl – Cities for People→
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. Continue reading Out of the Blue→
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.
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.
Anyone who has been on a cycle tour of Bremen will know the city’s top attraction Der Stern (The Star). The Stern roundabout sits in the Schwachhausen district, Northeast of the city centre and has seen changes to its layout over the years. Now new plans are afoot. Continue reading Parkallee – No Stars For The Cunning Plan→