Tag Archives: mobile services

Urban Delivery Bike Service Concept

I worked on a competition proposal together with Adaptive Path and De FietsFabriek to develop an innovative new bicycling service for the city of Copenhagen for the Global Living Labs Service Innovation in Cities conference. It was rather challenging to put something together for the city that already has it all. I think this is one of the reasons why Copenhagen keeps a top position amongst biking cities: constantly innovating and working to improve itself.

Our concept was an urban bicycle delivery service. Delivery vehicles contribute significantly to urban traffic and are often driving at only half capacity. The key concept was to build a set of standardized boxes of different sizes and types that could stack together onto the bike. These containers could be rented or owned by local companies who could have their own branded logos on them. We would then build a standardized bike that could carry these stackable boxes. Finally, there would be a real time routing system that would make it easier for customers to get dynamic pick-ups and drops offs. This would be simpler for the delivery company in part because the load and distance of the service area would be smaller (more comparable to a bike delivery service).

The event organizers liked the concept but didn’t select it as the winner in the end. Unfortunately, Copenhagen wasn’t so into it. Why? Well, because Copenhagen being its typical tiny and perfect self doesn’t think it has a delivery truck issue (they claim, although that’s not entirely true if you see this image).

Copenhagen also has very little traffic in general. Their rush hour is probably less than one hour in the morning and evening. My conclusion at the end of the conference was that we were probably pitching to the wrong audience. We should be talking to a bigger city with bigger problems (eg, New York) and possibly even a big shipping company (eg, DHL) instead of the city government.

An earlier Adaptive Path blog post on the concept

A photo from the event with Willem Boijens from Adaptive Path presenting feedback from a workshop on our concept. That’s me in the foreground!

Here’s our official entry

Any tips for how to push this further or feedback on the concept welcome!

Copenhagen city archeologists ride customized cargo bikes

So, obviously, the mail gets delivered by bicycle in Copenhagen. But now there’s a custom bicycle for a lesser known urban profession: archeologists. The entire city is getting dug up to put in a new metro system which means that urban archeologists are scurrying around town making sure each cultural artifact uncovered is carefully taken care of.

The Copenhagen City Museum has provided them with their own custom cargo bikes to carry all their tools, lunchbox, etc.  They say it saves them the hassle of parking and a lot of time, especially with the green waves that time lights on major streets so  you sail through town at 20 km/h during rush hour.

Fire Bike

This is great! Then you don’t have to build roads wide enough for fire trucks, which always makes them less cozy. But clearly this is before the day of all the equipment folks carry now.

Pedal powered knife sharpening

I saw a guy with a knife sharpening service in Bombay. He just had the back kickstand up that elevates the wheel off the ground and then had a knife sharpening stone between his legs powered by pedaling.

(Sorry, can’t find photo!)