Mikael Colville-Andersen has been dubbed the ‘rock star of urbanism’, 'the modern day Jane Jacobs' and the man who 'launched a million bicycles’. Simply, he’s a dude who loves moving around his city by foot and by bike, and he wants people across the globe to share that same enjoyment.
I recently chatted with Mikael about Copenhagenize Design Company, how neighbourhoods can become more people-oriented, and the current progress towards - what he calls - 'life-sized cities', across both the northern and southern hemispheres.
A few insights from his work around the globe include:
- "Cities in China... they embraced the automobile over the past 15 years and now they're paying the price for that. Now Shanghai is putting in Copenhagen-style cycle-tracks. The Chinese can do that."
- "India... they still don't know what they're doing."
- "When you have Paris just in the course of 12 years... putting in infrastructure, bike share, traffic calming, taking out some expressways along the river. There's people who are doing it and as soon as you have a big city doing it - other cities will follow."
- "Australian cities are farther behind than any other city in the industrialised world... When there are American cities ahead of you in terms of bicycle infrastructure - you suck. You suck really bad!"
Giving us some idea about what's in store for the future, Mikael tells us that he will soon be heading back into the world of film making. This time however, he has a message to spread. And this time, he will be on the other side of the lens.
Check out the full interview below.