13 December 2016

Mapping Alternative Ulster in Armagh

Mapping Alternative Ulster is on again, this time in the Market Place gallery in Armagh. It runs until 7 January 2017.

The exhibition showcases a dozen map-makers, each taking a very different look at the places we think we know so well. These map-makers are local historians, activists, artists, geographers and urban planners, all interpreting our surroundings in different ways. Together, they cover the ground from Donegal to Down to Armagh. Mapping Alternative Ulster re-thinks our representation on maps.

11 December 2016

Belfast versus Copenhagen

These Google maps enable us to compare the provision of cycling lanes in Belfast and Copenhagen. Belfast is a small city, and relatively flat, it could be perfect for cycling but its single strength is the continuous route along the Lagan. Note the rather ridiculous short stretches of cycle lane in Belfast, picking up and then vanishing again a few pedal strokes later.

Thanks to @jrolloos21 for putting the maps together
It may seem unfair to use Copenhagen for this comparison, as the city is famously cycle-friendly. However the comparison is useful as in the 70s and 80s Copenhagen was struggling with similar issues to those Belfast still has; the dominance of the motor car for example. Copenhagen took definite steps to change the commuting culture in on its streets, and rebalance the city in the way shown by the map. They introduced an ambitious Cycle Policy in 2002, among its aims were to increase the proportion of Copenhagen cyclists who say they feel safe cycling in the city from 57% to 80%. They also aimed to increase the proportion of people cycling to work from 34% to 40% by 2012. They did not quite achieve this, but by 2014 they had exceeded it. Copenhagen now has 454 kilometres of cycle lanes, used by 36,000 cyclists every day.

I got the statistics from here and here.