Smarter Than Car (STC) is a think tank dedicated to questions of Bicycle Urbanism and Future Urban Mobility. As an interdisciplinary group with open-source attitude we engage in urban research and advocacy. We believe that the bicycle is the key element for sustainable urban environments in a future post-carbon world.
Smarter Than Car was formed in Beijing in 2010 as China's first cycling advocacy group. Our scope has since expanded internationally as we engaged in researching urban cycling cultures and bicycle urbanism. In 2013 Smarter Than Car took shape as a think tank and open research project.
We see an exciting future for pedal-powered vehicles as a tool for shaping the future city in Asia and around the globe. We believe that right now the birth of a new bicycle culture 2.0 is taking place on a global scale. In this context our activities in China are especially exciting. With our work we aim at facilitating bicycle cultural exchange to inspire new approaches in bicycle urbanism and cycling advocacy.
We have defined concepts such as Bicycle Urbanism, Negotiated Flow or Bicycle Livelihoods as approaches to facilitate future urban mobility. We adapt these approaches to the local context we are working in. To widen our network and discuss our ideas we engage in urban research as well as teaching. Our work is inspired by Beijing’s bicycle cultures of the past and rooted in the urban (cycling) expertise of our multidisciplinary team.
Smarter Than Car is based in Beijing, China and Vienna, Austria. We are a non-profit organization. As an open-source our work is published under a Creative Commons License (Attribute + Non-commercial, BY-NC).
Florian is an interdisciplinary planner and communications expert based in Vienna, Austria. He sees Bicycle Urbanism as critical strategy for the livability of future cities. Since 2010 Florian heads the urban research at Smarter Than Car (STC) between Beijing, China and Vienna, Austria. At the consultancy PlanSinn, Florian worked to bring about various projects to further urban cycling in Vienna and internationally. Florian started the column "Bicycle Urbanism" at the Sustainable Cities Collective where he is also member of the advisory board. Florian coordinated the program for the 4th World Bicylce Forum held in Medellín Colombia in 2015. He has lectured at universities and conferences throughout Europe, China and the Americas.
Joshua is an urban researcher at the University of Vienna’s Department of Geography with a focus on the role of mobility and transport in urban resilience. Originally from the United States, he coordinates the 4Cities Erasmus Mundus Master Program in Urban Studies and is co-director of urban mobility think tank Smarter Than Car.
Georg is an architect, designer, and artist based in Vienna, Austria. In addition to freelancing he works on a variety of personal projects. He is also a guest lecturer at the institute for experimental architecture/studio3 at the Technical University of Innsbruck, Austria. A dedicated cyclist since childhood, Georg has ridden everything from fat downhill mountainbikes to sleek road bikes and still enjoys the pleasure of his everyday bicycle commute. This passion for cycling converges with his interest in cities and their future as natural habitat for the majority of earthlings. Interested in all scales and aspects of design, he likes thinking in big pictures even whilst engaging small details. Georg collaborated with Smarter Than Car on several occasions before officially joining the team in the fall of 2015.
Shannon is an Australian with a background in architecture and urban planning. He has worked on urban projects in China, the Middle East and Australia. Shannon has been living in China since 2009 observing China’s unique bicycle cultures. He is now concentrating his efforts on helping to rebuild Beijing as a global bicycle city since 2009 through his work as co-founder of China’s first bicycle NGO of ‘Smarter Than Car’ (www.stcbj.com) and the entrepreneurial activities of his company ‘Serk Cycling’ (www.serk.cc). He has lectured extensively on bicycle culture in China and founded a number of new cycling culture events in China.
Liman is a native of Beijing, growing up in the ‘golden bicycle age’ during the 1970′s and 80′s. She has fond memories of cycling in a city packed full of bikes and urban cycling culture. After graduating from University she went abroad for 10 years living and working in five different cities and experiencing auto dependent transportation first hand. In 2010 she co-founded Smarter Than Car. In 2012, she started a space called Serk. The space is a combination of café/bar and bike shop. This space is the first of its kind in China. She uses this space as a launch pad to promote bicycle culture and organize cycling events.
A diverse group of peers attached to Smarter Than Car to understand complex issues and widen the perspective how we view challenges in our projects. The STC braintrust group is maintained and expanded in personal meeting, frequent think-tank sessions and urban research as well as advocacy projects.
Craig is an architect and urban planner, a director of Six Degrees Urban and Adjunct Professor of Architecture at UTS. He has worked on the city across a range of scales. In the 1990’s he lived in the Melbourne city centre and worked as a founding partner of Six Degrees working on recycling and renewal projects around the revitalisation of the Melbourne City Centre. He moved to Sydney and spent four years travelling to China working on over 40 district and city masterplans, followed by four years with the NSW Government’s 25 year Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney. He has recently moved to New York and continues to work on various projects for Governments and the private sector, focusing on strategies at the macro and micro scales of the city.
Sara is a student of Urban Studies at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California with a concentration in Urban Society and Social Change. She is passionate about equity issues surrounding transportation, including the role that income and racial segregation play in access to mobility. Sara has worked with STC to conduct research on the accessibility of Vienna's bike share program, Citybike Vienna, for low-income and under-represented communities, a project that also included a simultaneous survey of socioeconomic barriers to access for three U.S. bike share programs: Citibike NYC, Nice Ride in Minnesota, and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. Sara is currently working on a senior thesis that uses the results of the Citybike Vienna project to produce a deeper analysis of equity issues within U.S. bike share programs and their potential to address the transportation needs of low-income and marginalized communities.
We welcome collaborators depending on their background and current projects. Please contact us if you want to work with STC.
Surya is an Undergraduate student of Civil Engineering at IIT Madras, Chennai, India. He is interested in how different cities are taking up bicycle infrastructure and integrating it in the cities to help augment public transportation and decrease automobile use. He is excited to work with Smarter Than Car to research more on bicycle infrastructure from different parts of the world and optimize it for local context.