Design students’ bicycle storage systems featured at urban planning conference
March 11, 2011

You could call it "designing the better bicycle rack."

The results of a NSCAD Design Studio 2 project on urban bicycle storage systems are on display this week at IMAGINE, Dalhousie University’s School of Planning conference, running until March 12.

Over the course of this second-year design class, students explored concepts for shelter and storage systems as a form of infrastructure to encourage bicycle use and provide a better, more integrated urban experience for cyclists.

This project was driven by proposed changes to the LEED rating systems that will come into effect in 2012. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System is a certification program for design, construction and operation of green buildings.

In the new rating system, bike racks will be a prerequisite for all LEEDs projects, meaning that a project can no longer receive LEEDs credits for simply putting in traditional bike racks. To get LEEDs credits in the future, you will have to offer integrated systems; e.g. storage, changing rooms, for both bikes and cyclists.

“The future of a sustainable urban environment will involve developing infrastructure that encourages a variety of modes of transportation, such as bikes,” explains Professor Glen Hougan. “In Europe, bicycle infrastructure means much more than bike lanes and signage.  In North America, we are just starting to take a larger view and look at urban friendly bicycle infrastructure.”

If you miss IMAGINE, you’ll be able to catch the students’ work at the new Farmers’ Market during “Bike Week” in May.