A GREAT IDEA HAS WINGS:
HERE’S A NUMBER LUUD CAME UP WITH IN 1967 (that it took the world a full generation to understand and finally equal).
The number was 10,000.
(But it was not only a number — it was at its base a wonderful, original and city-transforming, environmental and life quality concept.)
This was the number of white bicycles that Mr. Schimmelpennink proposed in his public bike master plan for Amsterdam in 1967. (Proposal rejected by the municipal council.)
After that radio silence on the post-White Bike front for seven years. It took until 1974 for the first new public bike project when the city of La Rochelle launched a free bike-sharing programme, Vélos Jaunes (Yellow Bikes). Followed at first slowly, cautiously but then increasingly with a mounting wave of tidy new projects, most in Europe, most successful, and almost all of them small.
The first four-figure scale project took place in the French city of Lyon in 2005, with the city in collaboration with JCDecaux. The Lyon project, was based on a Luudivian principle: let’s dump 3000 bikes onto our streets and see what happens. (There was a very careful and expert planning and preparation phase before that happened, but the principle is tha same.) What happened was that not only did Vélo’v’ survive and prosper in Lyon, but it set a new example and scale of ambition and success.
Luud’s 1967 target of 10,000 public bikes was finally matched by the Paris plan for Vélib’, which initially was for 10,000. The fact is that the contract was contested on legal grounds, and then finally remediated for a total of 20,000 bikes.
And on and on from there to today’s two million-plus public bikes hour after hour providing practical service to citizens in more than 1,100 cities on all continents.
Hello. Did I hear someone say: Thanks, Luud?
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More on grassroots support for Luud’s work and contributions
* World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities https://goo.gl/42JSQ6
* Facebook: https://goo.gl/Wvc5BG
* Twitter: https://twitter.com/ThanksLudd
* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8598247
* Direct mail for campaign: ThanksLuud@ecoplan.org
* Contact organizer: E. firstname.lastname@example.org. S. newmobbility T. +336 5088 0787.
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About Luud Schimmelpennink:
Dutch social inventor, industrial designer, entrepreneur and politician, since the mid
1960s Luud Schimmelpennink has been active in creating new low-carbon products and projects, with special focus on sustainable transportation concepts. His work aims to both reducing the number of conventional motor cars in urban areas for environmental and public health reasons, and provide people with viable alternative means of getting around in the city. Luud is the person who set the pattern for free (shared) city bike projects in Amsterdam back in the sixties. And if most of his original White Bicycles eventually disappeared, his example blazed the way to more work and thought, bringing us to where we are today. In 2006 he was elected again to the Amsterdam Municipal Council, and is currently working on a new WitKar-type project for Amsterdam as well as continuing to promote community cycles in Amsterdam and elsewhere. Luud is Managing Director of the Ytech Innovation Centre in Amsterdam
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About the author:
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton