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.
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