In urban logistics, the ‘last mile’ refers to the final stretch of the transport of goods – for example, the distance a truck or a van completes carrying your last online find from a warehouse, a dock, or another trade logistics infrastructure in or near your city, until your door.
Bicycles can play (are playing) a great part in the decarbonizing of our cities. Their affordability and repairability, and the way they allow a closer, more intimate way of traveling neighbourhoods, are all greatly aligned with the values and investigations around Fab Cities. As great as they are though, in our context they’re not that original, so instead of spending multiple posts on the topic, here’s a quick roundup of three recent articles on bikes and micromobility.
An excellent article by Clive Thompson on how we’ve monocropped our streets , to the extent that they are now used almost exclusively for cars. He argues that it’s time to rewild. We’ve spoken about this before with our post “Rewilding” infrastructures, the idea that much like various projects are giving fields, estates, and farms back to nature, letting them grow as they would without our interference, now some voices are proposing that cities also need to “go wild again.” Thompson starts with the example of Utrecht.
Although the title of this absolutely fantastic talk by Marco te Brömmelstroet is “Rethinking the mobility paradigm,” it can actually be watched as a short but fun class on the power of language, on simplification, forest engineering, road engineering, Homo economicus, efficiency, optimizing for the wrong thing, and the incorrect balance between machines and humans, which we are currently living under. I also encourage you to listen and possibly research further some of the writers and books he mentions, as the lessons about thinking in systems and “seeing like a state,” among others, can be applied to a variety of fields and cases, not just cycling infrastructure.
Short article and interview with Quinn Wallace, transportation planner at the Oakland Department of Transportation, on some of the results of the Universal Basic Mobility program run in 2021 by the Oakland Department of Transportation (OakDOT).