Urban design and the mobility of tomorrow: do citizens have a say in what their cities look like?

  • Lior Steinberg

    Lior Steinberg

    Urban planner and co-founder of Humankind (Agency for Urban Change)

20 February 2024

When working in the public space, decisions that may appear minor can have unintended consequences, substantially affecting stakeholders across a range of criteria. A good example is the modest bike lane.

One would think that installing a bike lane would be a quick and easy way to increase mobility. After all, it merely entails laying some asphalt, and putting down paint.
However, this is deceptively simple. It does not take into account the resistance of neighbors against the removal of parking spaces, or their common — yet irrational — fear that car users will take different routes and create congestion elsewhere.

Municipalities need to better explain to their residents that any one bike lane is meant to be part of a larger network. Such network capacities need to be strengthened, communicated, and relayed to the community. It’s important to properly communicate and explain the dynamics of this ecosystem approach to gain acceptance from residents.