In 2022 we embarked on a project to show people a new vision for their cities. Visual designers used CGI video to strip away existing elements of the street and replace them with infrastructure designed for people not vehicles. Bringing the future into view with the power of CGI can inspire the change in our cities we all want to see.

Inspiration and passion are the forces that drive change. Providing people with a vision of what is possible is a powerful tool, it shows a future worth working towards. In 2022 we gave Berlin and London the Future Cities treatment sparking many positive and engaging conversations with citizens, policy makers and cycling advocates.

In 2023 we are rolling out our Future Cities vision to new destinations. Our first is Bilbao.

The vibrant port of Bilbao, capital of the Basque region in northern Spain is host to Stage 1 of the 2023 Tour de France. The first day of the tour features 182 hilly kilometres of racing starting and finishing in Bilbao. With the eyes of the world and especially cycling fans on Bilbao, it was a natural choice to kick off our Future Cities 2023 project. With our Shimano colleagues in Spain, local cyclists and advocacy groups we created a short list of four places; Teatro Arriaga, Puente de Salve, Jeff Koons flower statue, The Puppy and Bilbao’s City Hall the Ayuntamiento. We offered our followers on Instagram the opportunity to vote for the location they would most like to see given the CGI treatment.

Four location choices - Top left Teatro Arriaga  Top Right - La Puente de La Salve, Bottom Left  The Puppy  Bottom Right Bilbao’s City Hall the Ayuntamiento

Connecting people with the heart of the city

Our clear winner was the Puente de La Salve. Built in the early 1970s, Puente de La Salve is the bridge that connects the heart of the city with the suburbs - and links up with the Guggenheim Museum.

How the bridge looks now

Currently, the bridge has 5 lanes of busy traffic, with no provision for safe cycling - and a limited area for those walking or wheeling. In our vision, 3 lanes of traffic are removed, replaced by a segregated cycle lane, wider pavement, trees, benches, a kiosk and a cycle hire dock. It will make the trip into the city feel safer and more enticing for cyclists. The area around the bridge would have cleaner air, less traffic and less noise pollution. It would ultimately look more attractive and be more welcoming. It’s a vision of Bilbao that is fit for the future.

What does it take to be able to Just Ride?

At Shimano we want to promote health and happiness through the enjoyment of the natural world - and of course - the bike. Safe and continuous infrastructure has been proven to increase levels of cycling - with people feeling safer and more confident to make journeys by bike. People have become used to cities, our most densely populated areas, being dominated by cars and car parking. We hope that this alternative vision will be the inspiration that sparks conversation with urban mobility experts, residents, politicians and planners who can work together to make this vision a reality.

Could your city be next?

Head to our social channels and let us know an area of your city that you would like to see transformed into a #FutureCities #JustRide

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