What’s behind Bremen’s pro-cycling campaign?
Bremen is a bicycle town. But what exactly is a bicycle town? According to Uebermann, a town can be called that if cycling is perceived as natural by all parties there. The town of Bremen is well on the way there. With a bike traffic share of 25 percent on average, Bremen lies in first place amongst towns with more than 300,000 inhabitants in Germany. Compared to the rest of Europe, the city on the Weser is behind Amsterdam and Copenhagen in 3rd place. Jens Joost-Krüger, head of the project Bremen and Bremerhaven Bike it!, talks about the bike traffic communication project.
Cycling belongs to Bremen and is an integral part of quality of life in the town. The bike is normal here, run-of-the-mill and has also been hip for quite some time. While it’s a pleasure to get on a bike in the daily grind, the bike becomes the transport of choice for visitors and locals alike in their free time. Bremen bike it! wants a push for bike traffic communication. More fun cycling and more people on bikes is increasing the urgency to make more room for bikes and to improve traffic infrastructure. It’s that simple.
So the project has first and foremost integrated the bike into the State of Bremen’s brand architecture: Bremen bike it! and Bremerhaven bike it! Furthermore, there are practical new products aimed at citizens and visitors to the town alike. It doesn’t matter whether a visitor is in the city on an excursion or there for several days. It is also irrelevant why they come to Bremen. Cycling in Bremen and Bremerhaven (Bremen’s harbour) is enriching. Even if you didn’t know it beforehand.
New, attractive, speedy bike tours act as bike bait. They offer a quaint mix of urban vitality and countryside relaxation. They are maintained so that there is nothing to complain about. The bike round tours should make it easy to try out cycling and have fun. Currently 5 circuits are available in Bremen and Bremerhaven. The tours are available as free maps and digitally in the Bremen Bike Citizens App.
Launching the Bike Citizens bike app was an important step for Bremen bike it! The app has been downloaded nearly 25,000 times. In Germany the app is only free for Bremen and Bremerhaven. It covers Bremen, the surrounding area, Lower Saxony up to 60 kilometres from Bremerhaven and the town of Bremerhaven. A huge area. The app is also bound for tourist information, hotel and cultural institute websites as an online bike route planner.
For the sake of completeness: Of course there are also two Bike it! websites for Bremen and Bremerhaven. Both show current information about ongoing events. Together with players from the creative scene, Bike it! has additionally developed Pulsrada: an open conversation format, which brings together the town’s different bike-related scenes. An essential operating philosophy of Bike it! is cooperation with partners from sport and culture (eg. big local cycling events: Sixdays, Brompton National Championship and the Bremen Challenge public bike races).
Bremen bike it! has developed its own events and wants to establish them in the town. The delivery bike race, short film night rides or Graz Altbaukriterium away games. Bremen Bike it also supports other events: The Critical Mass, the bike and outdoor exhibition and others. The events shows new side to cycling in the town, they generate new images, that we use to make the town and cycling even more interesting.
Bremen bike it! wants the bike to become the means of transport for urban quality of life in Bremen. The bike should be the means of transportation for visitors and locals alike, which literally grants access to the town and its scenes.
Bremen bike it! and Bremerhaven bike it!
About the author:
Head of the project Bremen Bike it! and other projects in the marketing department at the WFB Bremen GmbH. Enthusiastic cyclist. Former Organizer of bike tours, having made many tours in the Alps, Scandinavia and the Atlantic. Since a few years he’s a guide for mountain biking. Every day cycling on different bikes. No matter where.
Image © Bike Citizens