Imagine the City of the Future for a moment. What’s the primary mode of transportation? Flying cars of course. It’s been well documented. However, we’ve been keeping a close eye on new trends in modern, livable cities. Frankly, you may be shocked to hear that the brainiacs out there are talking about bicycles.
Earlier this month we went to Nantes, France for a gathering of big thinkers, policy makers and urban planners from 80 countries. Their motto: Tout pour le vélo!
Fortunately, that works for us. Bikes are cheaper than flying cars, just as fun to drive and they run on a readily available, clean fuel — fat. That’s smart technology. Plus, we’ve got rain capes with some special bike features. Call us futurists.
The gathering was Velo-city, where the ideal future city is one where young and old, rich and poor, are moving at peak efficiency by vélo, bicicletta, cykel, sykkel, Fahrrad, or 自行车. It’s backed by the European Cycling Federation but extends well beyond Europe and basic transportation planning. Bikes, they contend, can improve public health, education, environment, energy, plus citizenship.
We were there to learn and were also privileged to show off our bike-ready street capes from the U.S. We met a lot of smart activists from around the world. We got a terrific reception. There was good citizenship going on all over the place.
We took to the streets. Velo-city was a living laboratory where theories on bikes, cities and happiness were confirmed. There was an amazing bike parade of 4,000 with a rain machine that made us feel at home.
We hit the City of Lights. No better place to illuminate the reflective qualities of international Cleverhoods than the Viille des Lumières.
Merci Velo-city. You couldn’t have offered a better example of the future than Nantes.
*[Ed. note: let’s hope taxi car drivers work things out in Paris]