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Shimano Future Cities

Shimano launches creative advocacy project at Eurobike

Shimano (11.0/A16) has launched a creative advocacy drive at Eurobike with the Future Cities project, helping consumers to visualise a bike-friendly version of an iconic street in their city.

Shimano Europe has teamed up with Jan Kamensky, a visual designer, to create computer-generated animations that strip away some elements of famous car-laden streets, and replace them with infrastructure and furniture that is designed for people and car-less mobility. 

The campaign started with the Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin and Marble Arch in London as pilot projects. Just a few hours after the launch, it had gained exposure with tens of thousands of consumers on social media.

Shimano is stimulating engagement by getting feedback on the next streets to be virtually revamped. It’s hoping to cover streets in another eight cities over the next year.

A monitor has been set up at the Shimano booth for end consumers to check out the project today.

“It helps people to see the potential of areas in a way they hadn’t envisaged before,” said Jonathan Davis, communications manager at Shimano Europe.

The European Cycling Federation found that cycling participation jumped by 59% in Berlin and by 119% in London on the back of the pandemic. Shimano said it wants to build on these dynamics by stirring up conversations around mobility and urban planning, and by activating community leaders. 

“It will take a clear vision for people to recognise the impact that widespread uptake of urban cycling could have, like those initially captured in Future Cities,” Shimano said. 

Davis said that the company could use its own networks to drive more engagement around sustainable cities. Its advocacy project could also be backed up by activations on the ground, helping consumers to try out more forms of mobility at events.

Shimano quotes research from the Boston Consulting Group showing that 13% of Europeans are willing to give up cars entirely, and that the decision is often motivated by the aspiration to live more sustainably. It emphasizes benefits for overall wellness and mental health.

A long and wide avenue, Karl-Marx-Allee is a prominent shopping destination in the German capital, but the road is dominated by traffic. It was picked by Kamensky for its potential to be rethought in a way that dramatically changes its usage while retaining its appeal. The customized animation turns the avenue into a “cycling and walking utopia” – complete with trees, birds and wide cycle paths.

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