Cars, Bus, Bikes: Space occupied


This poster in the city of Meunster’s (in northern Germany, near the Dutch border) Planning Office shows the amount of space taken up by cars, a bus, and bicycles used to transport the same number of people.

A couple comments:
– The photo of the cars has unfortunately been cropped, distorting the perspective somewhat and also not showing all of the cars.

– By American standards the cars in the photo are tiny. The largest auto I can discern here is a mid-sized Mercedes sedan of 1980’s vintage.

– In real use the cars would probably have to be spread out much more than the bicycles. Of course the single bus would remain a single unit. The same is essentially true when parking is considered.

From Core77, website for industrial design

6 Responses to “Cars, Bus, Bikes: Space occupied”

  1. Feddo Says:

    I think all the cars are of mid-80’s vintage…. many a square headlight in sight.

    So even by EU-standards, the cars are pretty small probably. On the whole, I do not think cars have gotten smaller. Maybe lots of people drive small cars now, but the current VW Polo is larger than the MkI VW Golf…

  2. Mark Stosberg Says:

    Denver, Colorado produced the same kind of photo series in 2001. The results are

  3. henry Says:

    Actually I suppose the photos were either taken in the 1980’s or in a neighborhood with an an extreme 70’s-80’s retro fetish.

    I’m actually fairly sure cars have grown worldwide. The only possible saving grace (and only from a surface area perspective) is that cars have grown more in height and weight than in length and width. The rise of the “Sport Utility Vehicle” and minivan as well as the use of light trucks as personal vehicles are examples.

  4. Val Says:

    And here is Portland’s version: Apparently this one was also redone in New York. Maybe if enough cities do this, it will actually become common knowledge – seems simple enough, but there are none so ignorant as those who will not admit.

  5. Feddo Says:

    Cars have definitely gotten bigger, but they have also gotten WAY more fuel efficient…. A diesel engine in a small car that did 100km for 3-4 liters of diesel and drove in the highway was unthinkable 20 years ago.

    The problem, of course, is that we keep getting bigger engines and more power, so the net result is the same or worse. I think Lexus is the only one that has cracked this problem with their new LS 600h: 450 HP from a 5 liter V8 in hybrid mode, yet still 11km to the liter of gas…..

    I digress, the car is still a behemoth and takes up more space than a mid-80s Merc. And if the engine is more fuel efficient, we can of course shoehorn it into a bigger and heavier “vee-hickle”.

  6. chris Says:

    The city´s name is actually Münster (or Muenster, if you replace the umlaut). It´s said to be one of Germany´s most bike friendly cities.

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