Dr. Behooving

is creating Essays in Bicycle Urbanism

29

patrons

$93

per month
Since 2009 my essays and blog posts have amused and empowered the bicycle advocacy community. I have been motivated by the fact that there simply hasn't been anyone else with a PhD in architecture and urbanism (let alone anyone with my good breeding and literary flare), who shares my conviction that cities should not be designed for enormous machines. Cars and trams in cities, I hope you appreciate, are like chocolate fountains and electric bread knives in kitchens: more trouble than they are worth. In the same way that our kitchens work better when designed around tight rations of tools—our chopping boards and knives, for example—so too our cities would be more efficient if they were designed around bicycles... and not a lot more.

But as a species we have never done that, you see. We have given drive-throughs and roller doors as gifts to the car and received what in return? Road deaths. Ill health. Workers caught in traffic, thus not performing their duties. We have flattered train lines with "TODs" (what ghastly terms these are we must use) only to find ourselves in cities with building stock that is inconvenient for those with young children; consider a mother pushing a pram, with her arms filled with groceries, as she struggles with elevator doors, or, if she is poor, then with stairs. This is not what our fathers fought for!

I put it to you that if only we were as prolific when it came to inventing new building-types that revolved around cycling, as we have been at inventing building types to enhance car and train travel, then, quite aside from making cycling attractive (which would be good for our health and our planet's) we would be having more comfortable lives.

How can that be, you ask, when cycling lacks the comfort of driving? My thesis rests upon two axiomatic attributes of bicycle transport:
  1. how it is fast enough for trips at the scale of the city, yet nimble enough to avoid all congestion, and, 
  2. how it could give people a tool for carrying things such as shopping and children to every level and corner of new kinds of purpose-built buildings.
Consider these axiomatic attributes of bicycle transport with an open mind to the future shape of our buildings and cities, and you will be ready to jettison carriage makers from the halls of town planning. You will be angry that they use their great profits to foist more buses, trams, trains and cars on the city than the city requires. What the city requires, my friends, is for the roofs that go with those carriages—roofs that only keep the carriage makers' customers dry—to be taken and made into stationary porticos over our streets. It is cycling and walking that ought to have that all-weather protection. (Please don't tell me that you have gore-tex, so like being rained on when you cycle or walk. I doubt you would drive a convertible car with the top down in bad weather, because you're so in love with your jacket, and we are talking here about transport, for our dainty wives and our little girls dressed as pink fairies).

Your patronage will give you access to essays written from a town planning mindset dating back to ancient Rome. It's a mindset we lost in the industrial era. Modern planning paradigms—Garden Cities, Broad Acre, Radiant City, Transit Oriented Development—all favour the carriage makers' enterprises over the citizens' needs. The only alternative, it would seem, is the "urban village" position, according to which we just walk; funny how its exponents all seem to live in the neighbourhoods with the good jobs, not the ghettos where opportunities are more than walking distance away. 

Become a patron and I'll bring you snobs' heads on a plate. I'll bring you thought constructs to cut through the bullshit objections you hear to bike transport in the course of your professional and volunteer work. I'll help you outgrow some bullshit assumptions you carry as well. You will even correct some of mine. 

Who am I that you would value my radical and uncompromising positions? Here's the blurb I send to my clients:

Dr. Steven Fleming leads global thinking on the bicycle’s influence upon architecture and urbanism. Among his 60+ publications are two seminal works on building for cycling: Cycle Space, Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle (NAi010, 2012) and Velotopia: The Production of CycleSpace in Our Minds and Our Cities (NAi010, 2017). In 2015 he helped found CycleSpace Amsterdam (now BYCS), the public/private partner of the municipality of Amsterdam. His design propositions for bike-centric cities and buildings have been exhibited in museums and published in CityLab, FastCompany, ArchDaily, The Guardian, etc.. He is regularly engaged as a draw-card speaker to institutes of Architecture (New York, Rotterdam, Vancouver, Singapore, Sydney etc.) and major events (the launch of Europe by People, VeloCity, etc.). Clients include cities (eg. Singapore, Amsterdam, Bogota, Nittedal and Ryde), agencies (eg. FutureBuilt Norway, the Property Council of Australia, the International New Town Institute, the Shenzhen Centre for Design and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia, Economic Development Queensland), corporations (eg. Shimano, Univa America, Bykko) and property developers (eg. Boston Global Investors, Art Group and Mavid Group). Since 2001 he has held academic positions at the Universities of Canberra, Tasmania and Newcastle in Australia and Harvard and Columbia universities in the US and is a regular guest lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. As a government architect in Singapore Steven designed and project managed 4 major developments including a total of 1810 dwelling units and designed a 2.4 hectare park, an early example of his life mission to design active environments.

You can verify all that with some web searching, or look for links on the Cycle Space website. Bottom line, is I am the world's leading expert at the nexus of bicycle transport and architectural and urban design theory and I will personally strangle Jan Gehl if he dares to contradict me. 

They say information wants to be free, but the person they're misquoting, Stuart Brand, also said: "Information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life." My top price for information, is 6000 Euro per presentation, but that's a service that can change companies' fortunes. Since 2009 I have also written well over one thousand blog posts, that you can read free. 

Somewhere in between are the essays and lessons you will pay a bit for, because they are sufficiently polished and developed to raise the level of all of our thinking. You will have already bought my two books (Cycle Space and Velotopia) but there are topics I can cover, and wrongdoings I can expose, on a Patreon site that I can't in a book. I mean, hell, on the other side of that paywall, I'll commit murder!

What I can't promise Brits is that there will be no typos, or Dutchmen that I won't lampoon you as pillocks, or minorities that I won't offend you for sport. What I can promise is three craft beers worth of knowledge and entertainment per year, that being the approximate cost of this subscription. 

In her majesty's service

Steven Fleming,
Ph.D., B.Architecture (hon.1), B.Sc. (Arch), and everything else. 

(But you can just call me Dr. Behooving)
Tiers
Amiche
$1 or more per month
You may watch from the gallery as we whisper below. There are no benefits due you from this tier at all. 
Duchi
$2 or more per month
Full access. There is no higher tier.
Patrons of the Arts
$10 or more per month
As a true nobleman and patron of my work, you seek neither to steer my independent inquiry or be privy to greater knowledge than others who still need to work for a living, yet you will happily contribute this sum for so long as you see my enterprise as one that doth better the lots of the poor. 
Lords (not to be known here as "merchants")
$20 or more per month
On a rotating basis, all those crossing my palm with this silver shall have their enterprise fondly mentioned with a whopping big photo and weblink at the end of an essay, on a rotating basis—I said that.
Magnates
$15,000 or more per month only 1 left
Just tell me what you want me to say. Ads for your shit-box driverless cars? No problemo amigo! You can have whatever you want!
Since 2009 my essays and blog posts have amused and empowered the bicycle advocacy community. I have been motivated by the fact that there simply hasn't been anyone else with a PhD in architecture and urbanism (let alone anyone with my good breeding and literary flare), who shares my conviction that cities should not be designed for enormous machines. Cars and trams in cities, I hope you appreciate, are like chocolate fountains and electric bread knives in kitchens: more trouble than they are worth. In the same way that our kitchens work better when designed around tight rations of tools—our chopping boards and knives, for example—so too our cities would be more efficient if they were designed around bicycles... and not a lot more.

But as a species we have never done that, you see. We have given drive-throughs and roller doors as gifts to the car and received what in return? Road deaths. Ill health. Workers caught in traffic, thus not performing their duties. We have flattered train lines with "TODs" (what ghastly terms these are we must use) only to find ourselves in cities with building stock that is inconvenient for those with young children; consider a mother pushing a pram, with her arms filled with groceries, as she struggles with elevator doors, or, if she is poor, then with stairs. This is not what our fathers fought for!

I put it to you that if only we were as prolific when it came to inventing new building-types that revolved around cycling, as we have been at inventing building types to enhance car and train travel, then, quite aside from making cycling attractive (which would be good for our health and our planet's) we would be having more comfortable lives.

How can that be, you ask, when cycling lacks the comfort of driving? My thesis rests upon two axiomatic attributes of bicycle transport:
  1. how it is fast enough for trips at the scale of the city, yet nimble enough to avoid all congestion, and, 
  2. how it could give people a tool for carrying things such as shopping and children to every level and corner of new kinds of purpose-built buildings.
Consider these axiomatic attributes of bicycle transport with an open mind to the future shape of our buildings and cities, and you will be ready to jettison carriage makers from the halls of town planning. You will be angry that they use their great profits to foist more buses, trams, trains and cars on the city than the city requires. What the city requires, my friends, is for the roofs that go with those carriages—roofs that only keep the carriage makers' customers dry—to be taken and made into stationary porticos over our streets. It is cycling and walking that ought to have that all-weather protection. (Please don't tell me that you have gore-tex, so like being rained on when you cycle or walk. I doubt you would drive a convertible car with the top down in bad weather, because you're so in love with your jacket, and we are talking here about transport, for our dainty wives and our little girls dressed as pink fairies).

Your patronage will give you access to essays written from a town planning mindset dating back to ancient Rome. It's a mindset we lost in the industrial era. Modern planning paradigms—Garden Cities, Broad Acre, Radiant City, Transit Oriented Development—all favour the carriage makers' enterprises over the citizens' needs. The only alternative, it would seem, is the "urban village" position, according to which we just walk; funny how its exponents all seem to live in the neighbourhoods with the good jobs, not the ghettos where opportunities are more than walking distance away. 

Become a patron and I'll bring you snobs' heads on a plate. I'll bring you thought constructs to cut through the bullshit objections you hear to bike transport in the course of your professional and volunteer work. I'll help you outgrow some bullshit assumptions you carry as well. You will even correct some of mine. 

Who am I that you would value my radical and uncompromising positions? Here's the blurb I send to my clients:

Dr. Steven Fleming leads global thinking on the bicycle’s influence upon architecture and urbanism. Among his 60+ publications are two seminal works on building for cycling: Cycle Space, Architecture and Urban Design in the Age of the Bicycle (NAi010, 2012) and Velotopia: The Production of CycleSpace in Our Minds and Our Cities (NAi010, 2017). In 2015 he helped found CycleSpace Amsterdam (now BYCS), the public/private partner of the municipality of Amsterdam. His design propositions for bike-centric cities and buildings have been exhibited in museums and published in CityLab, FastCompany, ArchDaily, The Guardian, etc.. He is regularly engaged as a draw-card speaker to institutes of Architecture (New York, Rotterdam, Vancouver, Singapore, Sydney etc.) and major events (the launch of Europe by People, VeloCity, etc.). Clients include cities (eg. Singapore, Amsterdam, Bogota, Nittedal and Ryde), agencies (eg. FutureBuilt Norway, the Property Council of Australia, the International New Town Institute, the Shenzhen Centre for Design and the Architectural Institute of British Columbia, Economic Development Queensland), corporations (eg. Shimano, Univa America, Bykko) and property developers (eg. Boston Global Investors, Art Group and Mavid Group). Since 2001 he has held academic positions at the Universities of Canberra, Tasmania and Newcastle in Australia and Harvard and Columbia universities in the US and is a regular guest lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health. As a government architect in Singapore Steven designed and project managed 4 major developments including a total of 1810 dwelling units and designed a 2.4 hectare park, an early example of his life mission to design active environments.

You can verify all that with some web searching, or look for links on the Cycle Space website. Bottom line, is I am the world's leading expert at the nexus of bicycle transport and architectural and urban design theory and I will personally strangle Jan Gehl if he dares to contradict me. 

They say information wants to be free, but the person they're misquoting, Stuart Brand, also said: "Information wants to be expensive, because it's so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life." My top price for information, is 6000 Euro per presentation, but that's a service that can change companies' fortunes. Since 2009 I have also written well over one thousand blog posts, that you can read free. 

Somewhere in between are the essays and lessons you will pay a bit for, because they are sufficiently polished and developed to raise the level of all of our thinking. You will have already bought my two books (Cycle Space and Velotopia) but there are topics I can cover, and wrongdoings I can expose, on a Patreon site that I can't in a book. I mean, hell, on the other side of that paywall, I'll commit murder!

What I can't promise Brits is that there will be no typos, or Dutchmen that I won't lampoon you as pillocks, or minorities that I won't offend you for sport. What I can promise is three craft beers worth of knowledge and entertainment per year, that being the approximate cost of this subscription. 

In her majesty's service

Steven Fleming,
Ph.D., B.Architecture (hon.1), B.Sc. (Arch), and everything else. 

(But you can just call me Dr. Behooving)

Recent posts by Dr. Behooving

Tiers
Amiche
$1 or more per month
You may watch from the gallery as we whisper below. There are no benefits due you from this tier at all. 
Duchi
$2 or more per month
Full access. There is no higher tier.
Patrons of the Arts
$10 or more per month
As a true nobleman and patron of my work, you seek neither to steer my independent inquiry or be privy to greater knowledge than others who still need to work for a living, yet you will happily contribute this sum for so long as you see my enterprise as one that doth better the lots of the poor. 
Lords (not to be known here as "merchants")
$20 or more per month
On a rotating basis, all those crossing my palm with this silver shall have their enterprise fondly mentioned with a whopping big photo and weblink at the end of an essay, on a rotating basis—I said that.
Magnates
$15,000 or more per month only 1 left
Just tell me what you want me to say. Ads for your shit-box driverless cars? No problemo amigo! You can have whatever you want!