By Izabela Stabinska
When I lived in Holland, I was impressed by how bike-friendly that country is. There are bike specific paths, bike parking lots as well as bike rentals and emergency repair bike shops. The variety of bikes is out of this world and they come in all colours, shapes and sizes
Although bikes were never strangers in Poland, there hasn’t been much infrastructure for them and they have never been top of mind. However, today many cities are including cycle paths in their development plans. And recently, one of the top national newspapers Gazeta Wyborcza initiated a campaign “Polska na rowery” (Get on bikes, Poland!) and organized a number of biking events to promote a bike-friendly lifestyle.
But that’s not all. Cycling is being promoted in style!
A few months ago the All For Planet Foundation came up with an idea to design bike racks that would reflect the spirit of the city that they would serve. Under the banner “Zaparkuj klimatycznie” (Eco parking) they selected five cities: Krakow, Wroclaw, Sopot, Rzeszow and Bytom and commissioned a team of designers to come up with ideas.
The designers returned with five concepts for each of the five cities and people all over country were encouraged to vote for their favourite design as well as for the prefered locations. Close to twenty thousand people (including me!) voted. Here are the 3 top designs that will be installed in each city:
One of the designs in particular, sparked a lot of controversy. With lots of sunny beaches Sopot is one of the most famous Baltic Sea destinations but some were offended by the “naked” sun-bathing female figure. Then again, the design got the most votes.
Moreover, seeing all the buzz around the beach-lady, the organizers didn’t want to miss a good opportunity and so they announced a little surprise…
… a little beach companionship.
The first bike racks are being installed this month. So, if you travel to Poland this summer and see any of them, let me know how you like them. Until then, get on your bikes people!
Izabela is Toronto based fashion designer who studied fashion in California. After receiving the Best Graduation Collection award, she traveled all over Europe where she collaborated on art projects, fashion shows and photo shoots. In Toronto, she is freelancing in fashion design and production. Currently, she is working with a local enterpreneur on a specialized sportswear line and is developing her first Canadian collection.