Let's Bike It/VK

Bicycling advocates in Latvia braved the rain for a witty demonstration on the humble bike's economy of space.

A big ol' helmet-tip to Joseph Stromberg at Vox, who dug up this remarkably effective demonstration of the automobile's poor economy of space, courtesy cycling advocates in the Republic of Latvia.

As part of International Car Free Day on September 22, Riga-based bike advocate Viesturs Silenieks had the idea to construct car-sized wearables from what looks to be bamboo and twine. He and local cycling group Divrintenis* then donned the skeletal sedans and went about their morning commute, adding noticeably to overall traffic congestion. These photos were later posted to the Russian social network vk.com.

As Stromberg points out, there have been several photographed demonstrations of the bicycle's superior spatial economy as compared to cars in recent years. But the Latvians' suggestion of "phantom space" consumed by vehicles also reminded me of Danish urbanist Mikael Colville-Andersen's "The Arrogance of Space." It's a series of color/photo-overlays that reveal the astonishing discrepancies in how much room cities bestow to different modes of transit.

A sweet video and more images from the Latvian stunt below:

CAR FREE DAY. Latvia from VFS FILMS on Vimeo.

*This post originally identified a Russian cycling group as the organizers of this event.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  2. Design

    What’s Behind the Iconic Floor Plan of London

    The most common residential floor plans in European cities offer a window into urban history and culture. In London, it’s the “two-up, two-down” row house.

  3. Design

    Before Paris’s Modern-Day Studios, There Were Chambres de Bonne

    Tiny upper-floor “maids’ rooms” have helped drive down local assumptions about exactly how small a livable home can be.

  4. photo: subway in NYC
    Transportation

    Inside Bloomberg's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

    Drawing on his time as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposes handing power and money to urban leaders as part of his Democratic presidential bid.

  5. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

×