May 5, 2009
WHO: Cyril Aouizerate and family (that’s three more, folks), plus Scott the Labrador
WHAT: Space-age design in a small family space
SIZE: 431 square feet
Would you believe a family of four, plus their big-boned Labrador, live in this 431-square-foot Paris apartment? The key is clever storage, including a murphy bed for the parents and a hidden fridge behind one of those ubiquitous white panels.
Check out the full slideshow at Côté Maison, en français.
(ps. Hearts afire for that kids’ room. Wonkavision meets 2001. Holy HAL.)
October 13, 2008
By now, you may have heard that French people — Parisians in particular — are pretty much the chicest people on Earth. (Sorry, Italians and New Yorkers. Don’t worry, though; you’re awesome in your own special way.)
Thus, it may not surprise you to hear that the Parisians have spared no expense implementing a city-wide bike sharing program, which launched in summer 2007 and sufficiently upped the City of Lights’ green ante.
Inspired by the success of a similar program in Lyon, France, Paris city officials devised a plan through which cyclists can purchase riding credits at any of the 1,450 self-service rental stations, grab a bike, and go. Users then can return their wheels to any station, making one-way trips a breeze (and, incidentally, these short bike jaunts outpace any other form of transport in Paris, according to a city-commissioned study).
The signature bikes, complete with bells and baskets (de rigeur en Paris!), are called Vélib’, a portmanteau of velo and liberte (liberty). The cost? About $1.30 USD/day. The first 30 minutes are free; after that, cyclists pay by the hour. In the first year alone, Parisians made 27.5 million Vélib’ trips.
With motor traffic congestion and pollution on the rise, a bike sharing program sounds positively brilliante! While approximately 3,000 of the 20,600 bikes have gone missing, the program is nonetheless a good investment in the health of both the city’s inhabitants and air quality.
I remember that my former town of Olympia, Wash., once played host to a fleet of shared bikes, which were free to use. And which were hot pink and designed for eight-year-olds. But they were shared, up until they all disappeared. (Likely suspects: a rabid pack of wheel-less eight-year-olds.)
Could a program like this work in your city? Seattle is kinda hilly, so maybe we’d need 21-speeds. Would your hometown people get out and ride, do you think?