The 250 City Road development – two 32- and 46-story skyscrapers which occupy the site of a 1980s business park – launched this week as one of the first major residential developments in the UK to focus more on cycling than driving. The number of bike parking spaces (1,486) is way higher than the number of car parking spaces (200), which exceeds Transport for London’s latest cycle design guidelines for new developments. Under these gudelines, the project was expected to provide 1,223 spaces, but Islington Council’s planners insisted on even higher provision.
The project is at the forefront of a cultural shift oriented towards treating cycling as mass transport. Foster + Partners have a reputation for encouraging bicycle culture. For instance, last year they published a design for a network of elevated cycle paths above London’s railways called SkyCycle, developed in collaboration with landscape architects Exterior Architecture and transport consultant Space Syntax. Even the firm’s headquarter building in west London has bike repair and servicing facilities for over 160 employees.