Why the way of working matters for the human experience of cycling
Updated: Sep 7
In the previous post, I outlined why I think human experience matters for cycling in general. This post will make the connection between human experience and an agile way of working in planning departments.
Designing for cycling experience means putting people at the center of the street design process to make streets where people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can ride a bike. In order to develop bicycle infrastructure that is aligned with people's needs, designs need to focus on people.
However, even the best-researched, most human-centered design that there is could be stuck in working processes that delay it for years or stop it from being implemented at all. In order for people-centered bike infrastructure to happen in practice, someone has to build it. That often means going through a planning department and lots of other interested parties and citizens.
Thus, it is important to be people-centered not only at the design level, but also at the process level. You need to consider the people you are working with and how a project may come to fruition.
Process level necessary for people-centered bikeways in practice
Moving from a concept to implementation is not easy. In research on the the Bicycle Program of the Municipality of Amsterdam, I found potential in the ideas behind an agile way of working (e.g. experimentation, reflection, collaboration) to help us do this in a way that costs less money and time while better serving citizens. As these ideas are about people and how they learn/progress together, I am describing them as a people(human)-centered way of working.
With the Designing a Bicycle User Experience (BUX) now, I advocate not just for human-centered designs, but for a human-centered way of working in street design. This, I hope, will lead to us seeing bicycle infrastructure that is aligned with people's needs come to fruition in real life.