Byminner

Byminner

Gledelig nytt.

I går fikk jeg årets første utgave av Byminner. Og faktisk mitt første eksemplar som jeg ikke har kjøpt på antikvariat. Merkelig er det at jeg ikke har meldt meg inn i Oslo Bymuseums Venner, jeg burde jo vært livstidsmedlem for lengst…

Byminner er altså Oslo bymuseums tidsskrift som kommer ut i fire ganger årlig. Første nummer kom i 1955. Første redaktør var sønnen til byplanleggeren Harald Hals, Harald Oluf Hugo Hals (1905-1968), som da var bymuseets museumsdirektør. Tidsskriftet tar for seg Oslos byhistorie, bit for bit, og det finnes egne spesialnummer om de fleste bydeler.

Nr 1-2011 omhandler blant annet Oslos mange nedlagte kinoer og rivingen av Skansen. Ikke spesielt oppmuntrende, men flott beskrevet av bymuseets kulturhistorikere. Så mye for alltid tapt kulturhistorie.

Kunne vi gjenopplivet “Jalla”, østkantens Gimle?

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Break is over…

I’m sorry about the incredibly long break. I’ll try to get the blog going again, step by step, and I’ll probably continue to write in both Norwegian and English, depending on the story…

I can start by telling you that I’m jumping on the bicycle sharing-trend that’s been spreading around the world the last couple of years, and which is growing fast as we speak. What city doesn’t want to be more livable and look sustainable these days? A “short-cut” to the top might seem to be by starting a bicycle sharing program. Many cities in Europe has one, including Oslo, and now cities even in the United States are getting their eyes on the new mode of transport.

Hopefully this isn’t just a passing trend, but one that will continue growing, and change the way we think of urban mobility.

Here’s an introduction about Velíb, the gigantic French system which made great success in no time. In Paris suddenly everyone bikes… dashingly helmetless.

Picture found here

Long live the pedestrians. / Länge leve fotgängarna.

New tactic from our fellas across the border. Volvo pander the motorists worst enemy, the pedestrians, in their ads for a new (orange!) car. “Long live the pedestrians”? Are they making fun of us? (Enlighten me please.)

Volvo anno 2010

Anyhow, by reading more about the thoughts behind the ad, apparently they’re thinking outside the shell (literally). Some how this car detects pedestrians hidden from the drivers view while driving slowly around the city. “…driving slowly…”? I think we already found a fault. Even worse, they hope to improve the urban environment by adding this new wonderful car…

And did James Dean ever imagine he would front a Swedish car-campaign?

Nostalgic moments

Reclaim the streets!

An addition to the last post about owning the streets… I’d say 2009 was a kick-start for a world wide “street renaissance”. Much thanks to the newthinking New York City mayor. World cities are important trendsetters, and if motorized NYC can do it, so can we. The question is – at what phase? How soon will we reclaim the streets?

This video from Streetfilms.org shows how quickly NYC were overtaken by cars, and adresses the problems the city now faces…


And as noted before, what Oslo needs is most likely an election…

Who’s street?

A street is a paved public thoroughfare in a built environment. It is a public parcel of land adjoining buildings in an urban context, on which people may freely assemble, interact, and move about. –Wikipedia

How wonderful… But wait! I hardly remember last time I moved about freely in the streets of Oslo. It seems like ages ago when I acted like the king of the road, fearing no one. And yet it was just the very early 90’s. The pedestrians were the majority, and embraced their position for a brief while.

A road’s main function is transportation, while streets facilitate public interaction.

Even with the distinction between roads and streets I cannot say todays streets meet the function they’re entitled in theory. So how would an explanation according to practice be? Probably ending somewhat like this…

(…) on which cars may freely move, people may interact where there are no cars, and all other forms of personal transport should occur elsewhere.

The streets have changed, that’s for sure. I’ve been noticing how motorists are getting less and less observant. Is it because the roads are improved and pedestrians act more careful in the city traffic? Are there simply too few obstacles? At one point, someone got too comfortable…

It’s our street, and apparently we’ll need to take it back! How can we reverse the trend?

How to avoid conflicts…

Allowing all to move in the speed of desire.

Cars of the future

Comment in the norwegian newspaper Dag og Tid ("Day and Time"), 5.2.2010

This talks for itself, but I’ll try to translate the comment as well as possible:
“HYBRID: India shows the way to the post-petroleum society with this pedal driven cabriolet on three wheels in Siliguri in east India. As good as emission free, and goes miles and miles just on a pile chapati… This environmental friendly model will be available in Norway by 2020, if todays oil extraction continues with the same speed.”

Winter “Wonderland”

It’s about time to get out of the winter lair… I’ve had a way to long break, but now I’m finally settled in Oslo, and trying to get back on track, which seems to be harder than I thought. The winter has been snowy and colder than usual (this early in the wintertime), and all respect to those few I saw biking despite minus 20 earlier this month.

Yes, people do bicycle, and several norwegian newspapers report that the amount of year-round cyclists increase. Now even “normal” people hit the snowy streets. Well, they have to be somewhat tough to do so, and I admit I’m not one of them… Maybe it’s because of the lack of proper gear, but another issue is the bad snow shoveling of bicycle lanes in the city. The few lanes that actually exist usually serve as disposal for snow, or even car parking, and lack of space makes people insecure. To get more people to concider winter cycling, the streets must be cleared, and not only in favor of the cars…

Would you even consider your bicycle?

Copenhagen 1937

I’m now spending my last days in Copenhagen before returning to the not so bicycle friendly city of Oslo. So it suits with this old travel video from 1937 (“Copenhagen – a FitzPatrick Traveltalk”). Look at the traffic – the bicycles, the tram, the walking people and the few cars. It seems like they all float together, though with a helping hand from the constable. An obvious change in the city image today is the absence of a tram, increase in amount of cars and the bicycle lanes and traffic lights, but the amount of bicyclists is still large. They’re everywhere, and you can still see people cycling with furniture in Copenhagen…

Enjoy this wonderful image of the Danish capital.

Copenhagen’s new Bike Sharing System!

OPENbike

Copenhagen is about to get a new Bike Sharing system (finally), and of course the ambitions where high for the new system that will brand the world’s leading bicycle city. Therefore they set out an international competition to get the most modern and intelligent system. And it looks like they’ve got it. Yesterday the winners were announced, and here are the two first prices. I must admit OPENbike looks most appealing in my eyes, but as long as they’re more comfortable than the existing ones, we should be happy…. Read more of this post