The outbreak of the Covid-19 still spreading throughout the world. People begin to adapt to new lifestyles: social distancing, staying at home, reducing activities such as traveling and consumption are reduced to only what is necessary.
(photo by: Stefano De Grandis)
In a city that may be a little sluggish, our way of life is slow life gradually. People use less public transport, and use bicycles and walk instead. People live in the only neighborhood area which is within walking and cycling distance. Many cities use the Coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to develop the city, it is beginning to be seen that bicycles seem to be both short-term and long-term solutions. In fact, it encourages social distancing, promotes health, and improves quality of life. As the number of cars decreased, reduced activity, people stay at home, and some of them would like to exercise, so the bicycle can easily become a new trend. People use bicycles to go to nearby grocery or delivery food. It was reported that in New York the use of bicycles increased by 52% during the Covid-19 crisis. In Chicago, bicycle rental numbers have doubled in early March. In Australia, people buy bicycles to the point of almost a shortage. The New Zealand government expanded the footpaths and created a temporary bike route to help people maintain 2 m. social distancing. At the same time, the UK government has a trend to promote the use of bicycles instead of private cars and public vehicles.
London car-free plans Source: London Mayor’s office
Actually, bicycles have played a role in many times of crisis. For example, in 1973 Netherlands faced an energy crisis due to the OPEC oil crisis, it has impacted the transportation system in the country. The Netherlands government revolutionized the country’s transportation, turning the crisis into opportunity. There are many projects that promote bicycle, bicycle lanes, and relevant projects were created at that time. Moreover, they can make bicycles to be a main transport, and many cities are known as cycling cities.
Italy is dramatically facing Covid-19, people are using more bicycles in their daily life. Many cities also have developed plans to deal with this issue such as Milan using this opportunity to set up a traffic adjustment plan in the centre of the city. The roads in the city were changed to be suitable for bicycles, and wider the pedestrian pavement for an alternative path that will be driven as the next primary method.
Plans for Corso Buenos Aires before and after the Strade Aperte project Source: (Laura Laker, 2020)
In a time when the world is facing a crisis of coronavirus and global warming. I think the use of bicycles could be another solution, and it could be the main vehicle for our future cities.
- Orsman, B., 2020. Covid 19 Coronavirus: Government To Fund Extra Wide Footpaths To Maintain 2M Distancing. [online] NZ Herald. Available at: <https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12324256> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Laker, L., 2020. Milan Announces Ambitious Scheme To Reduce Car Use After Lockdown. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/21/milan-seeks-to-prevent-post-crisis-return-of-traffic-pollution> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Taylor, M., 2020. Large Areas Of London To Be Made Car-Free As Lockdown Eased. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/15/large-areas-of-london-to-be-made-car-free-as-lockdown-eased> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Laker, L., 2020. Calls For More Space For Walking And Cycling In UK During Lockdown. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/28/calls-for-more-space-walking-cycling-uk-during-lockdown-coronavirus> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Laker, L., 2020. In A Global Health Emergency, The Bicycle Shines – Citylab. [online] Citylab.com. Available at: <https://www.citylab.com/perspective/2020/03/coronavirus-bike-lane-emergency-transportation-covid-19/608725/?fbclid=IwAR3b2OyMs2HsPTxN_L0gsVC83KdXDubrX9l7IqnrAcEnxFLC5rVu-tWncQA> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Landis-Hanley, J., 2020. ‘Bicycles Are The New Toilet Paper’: Bike Sales Boom As Coronavirus Lockdown Residents Crave Exercise. [online] the Guardian. Available at: <https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/apr/22/bicycles-are-the-new-toilet-paper-bike-sales-boom-as-coronavirus-lockdown-residents-crave-exercise> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Harrouk, C., 2020. People To Reclaim Streets In Milan In Post Covid-19 Vision Of The City. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: <https://www.archdaily.com/938202/people-to-reclaim-streets-in-milan-in-post-covid-19-vision-of-the-city?fbclid=IwAR0H_FswLBGsmLMneW8GnwMdYwdLqLUlK33anzLGEL4LX5A8MVFcyX8kYUo> [Accessed 21 May 2020].
- Schwedhelm, A., Li, W., Harms, L. and Adriazola-Steil, C., 2020. Biking Provides A Critical Lifeline During The Coronavirus Crisis. [online] World Resources Institute. Available at: <https://www.wri.org/blog/2020/04/coronavirus-biking-critical-in-cities> [Accessed 21 May 2020].