“At the moment a lot of the debate that goes on about cycling and pedestrians and motorists is from their individual points of view. What design does is actually bring us together.”
As cycling becomes an ever more popular mode of transport in London, Peter Murray – chairman of New London Architecture (NLA) and the London Society – considers how integrated cycle infrastructure can benefit cities across the world, and how in particular cycling might be better integrated in London’s urban fabric.
As Mayor Boris Johnson and Transport for London (TfL) face mounting pressure to provide better and safer cycling infrastructure in London, Peter Murray considers strategies for supporting cycling in the UK’s capital city. An avid cyclist himself, Murray is charged with a number of design advisory roles, including advising Mayor Johnson on how to improve the city’s cycling offering.
Last year, Murray headed a team of riders who travelled from Portland, Oregon to Portland Place in London, researching cycling as a form of urban transport and exploring best practices around the world. Some of these best practices are making their way to the UK, most recently with the adoption of the ‘Mini Hollands’ programme being rolled out across three sites in London. This programme aims to create entire communities around cycling, rather than motor vehicle, infrastructure. In the interview, Murray notes that “[f]or the last half century, we’ve bowed down to the god of the motor car and have destroyed cities across the UK,” and considers the potential of projects like the ‘Mini Hollands’ and how this quest to privilege bicycles on our roads might reshape London for the better.