Specifically, the first phase of the work consisted of a user research study to gather insights on the habits of bicycle users in Lisbon, their pains points and unmet needs. The methodology entailed 2 weeks of on-street flash interviews, followed by in-depth VoIP interviews and conversations with bicycle store owners, as well as a city-wide survey with a response of over 400 bike users (a report compiling the results of this research and identifying specific opportunities for intervention will be available soon)
The second phase of the work focused on one of the opportunities identified, the unavailability and low quality of bike parking infrastructure as a barrier to the more frequent use of bicycles in Lisbon. This led to a co-design process to inform the creation of a secure bike parking network for medium/long stays in the city. In particular, EMEL conducted:
- an initial desk research phase, looking at international examples of cities/countries where the use of bicycles in the urban environment is more rooted in the local mobility culture,
- a co-creation workshop with practitioners from EMEL and the Municipality of Lisbon, as well as potential users of the bike parking network,
- a validation phase with bicycle users in order to fine-tune the different options for the infrastructure and service level, and to price test the service.
The value proposition generated by this work, underpinned by a simplified financial analysis, built the case for the creation of a new secure bike parking service in Lisbon, BICIPARK. Last October, EMEL set up a functional prototype in one of its car parks to test the solution and is now expanding to further 13 car parks.
BICIPARK will contribute to the city’s sustainable mobility policies, aiming at improving local air quality, noise reduction and, in general, enhancing the quality of life of all who live, work, and visit the city of Lisbon.
This work also resulted in the production of a handbook with a set of design principles and guidelines to help any organisation willing to set up shared bicycle parks in the city of Lisbon. The handbook is a live document, updated regularly with the experience gathered in BICIPARK (a Portuguese version is publicly available - https://www.emel.pt/pt/emel-voxpop-guia-bicicletarios).