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Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E16: Baby Steps Begone with Mikael Colville-Andersen

Colin Marshall sits down in Vesterbro with Mikael Colville-Andersen, urban mobility expert and CEO of Copenhagenize. They discuss where Los Angeles, with its “pockets of goodness,” ranks on the global scale of Copenhagenization; what it takes for a city’s population to become “intermodal”; his experience growing up in an English-Danish-Canadian household, biking all the time before the onset of the “culture of fear”; the qualities of a mainstream bicycle culture, including a lack of specialized cycling clothes of the type worn by the sport cyclists who have “hijacked” the practice; learning how not to promote cycling from environmentalism, the greatest marketing failure of all time; the need, in some places, to sell urbanism before you can sell urban cycling; his work busting myths about why Copenhagen allegedly differs so much from all other cities; why he settled in Copenhagen himself, beyond not needing to explain his name so often; the photo he took that “launched a million bicycles” and made him into a modern-day Jane Jacobs; the failed science of traffic engineering and how to rebuild it; cycling’s “modal share” and what it tells you about a city, especially when it rises above five percent; the bicycle as “the symbol of the future, man”; how helmets kill cycling culture, and his TED Talk on riding without one; our innate need, as human beings, to fear stuff; and what urban cycling promoters can learn from the success of automobiles, and especially their introduction of the term “jaywalking” and the very concept of playgrounds.

Download the interview here as an MP3 or on iTunes.

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