Wiesbaden was voted the least bike-friendly city in Germany in a survey by the German Cyclist’s Association. This result is justified by the poor infrastructure, the disregard for cyclists, and a missing lobby. We wanted to make a change - together with the cyclists and their daily navigated routes.
Radwende combines a public petition, art, and a campaign against climate change. We developed an app that shows the cyclists of Wiesbaden and their effect on city planning. The concept is quite simple: Cyclists track their routes and we draw a map of the city out of the perspective of cyclists. The map is a striking representation of bike traffic in real time and visualizes where bike lanes are needed. It could serve as a planning tool for Wiesbaden’s infrastructure.
But that’s not all: We also developed a drawing machine that trailed the activists’ tracks and was displayed in the Museum Wiesbaden. It produced one artwork a day that showed where bike lanes were missing. We just drew these missing bike lanes ourselves. The art installation puts the campaign into a new context. Bike traffic is becoming presentable again and relevant to people other than just ‘green’ cycling and climate protection activists.
There’s nothing new about a tracking application, but Radwende is a new form of public participation. It’s not a petition with signatures or clicks, but the demonstration of a drawback. Every tracked kilometer is an accusation towards the city and a call to extend the bike infrastructure. The number of kilometers of cycling is converted into currency. The city will build a new bike path for every 5,000 km of cycling, and shops and cafes will give free coffees to people using the app. Radwende can be used in every city that is interested in improving the bike infrastructure.
Radwende is an art installation at Museum Wiesbaden designed to foster cycling as a means of getting around town. It visualizes routes actually used by cyclists, computes the distance traveled thereby in terms of a sort of currency (Artivisum) and then uses it as a petition model for citizen participation in a political process. For every 5,000 kilometers cycled, the city builds a new bike path. The prototype was presented in March 2014 at Wiesbaden Design Days and then went on exhibit at Museum Wiesbaden. The installation could be booked for a day, and the resulting artwork could then be purchased. In 2015, the project was honored with a Media Art Prize awarded by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe. Radwende can be deployed in any city seeking to improve its cycling infrastructure.