A multi-year cycling promotion project involving six European cities recently ended, with one conclusion being that cycling has suddenly become a hot topic. The project began before the Velib bike sharing project got underway, inspiring cities the world over to consider the bicycle as a vehicle for public transportation. By the time the project concluded, a confluence of rising petrol prices, economic crisis and Paris's inspiring example had made bike sharing a tempting option for mayors the world over, including here in Budapest.
The project, called Spicycles, included a component on bike-sharing, and monitored the implementation of such systems (or expansion of existing ones) in all its partner cities: Berlin; Bucharest and Ploiesti Romania; Gothenborg, Sweden; Rome and Barcelona. The system in the last city became one of the biggest in Europe, and was almost solely responsible for igniting what's now a thriving transport-cycling culture.
I had the privilege of working on the project's final publication as an editor and graphic designer. It describes the project's results, including lessons from Barcelona's Bicing system and things that Gothenborg and Berlin have done to become two of Europe's leading lights in utility cycling.