Skycycle: cycle with your head in the clouds

The cycling utopia with no buses, no cars and no stress, designed by Norman Foster

SkyCycle is a proposal to build 220 km of cycle routes above the suburban rail network in central London. Almost six million people live nearby, half of whom live and work less than 10 minutes from one of the 200 entrance points. Each route could accommodate up to 12,000 cyclists an hour, reducing their daily journey time by 30 minutes.
Skycycle © Foster + Partners 2014. SkyCycle: the suspended cycle route designed by Foster + Partners and Space Syntax

© Foster + Partners 2014. SkyCycle: the suspended cycle route designed by Foster + Partners and Space Syntax

This ambitious concept, developed by Exterior Architecture, Foster + Partners and Space Syntax by applying the principles of lateral thinking, is designed to meet cyclists’ needs (particularly in terms of safety) while improving mobility in one of the world’s most crowded cities.

But for SkyCycle to be more than a utopian dream, it must first attract the funding for a feasibility study. The cost of building a trial route is estimated at £220 million (€365 million).

“I believe that cities where you can walk or cycle, rather than drive, are more congenial places in which to live”, says renowned architect and cycling enthusiast Norman Foster. As a means of transportation, cycling offers numerous advantages: it is cheap, quick, silent, healthy and environmentally friendly. SkyCycle offers a new approach to urban cycling. If the project takes shape, it could be up and running in 20 years.
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