The MCA/13 Cargo Bike Parking prototype on display at the Aux vélos, citoyens exhibition about Danish Urban Design.

In early 2013, I developed a design for on-street cargo bike parking that creates space and accessibility for citizens that use cargo bikes on a daily basis. The above photo was taken in Paris, where my exhibition about Danish Urban Design and bicycle-friendly cities opens today. Aux vélos, citoyens ! — or “to your bikes, citizens!”. It’s at the Danish Cultural Center Le Bicolore in the Maison du Danemark and runs from 18 June-19 Sept, 2021.

The “100 Things I’ll Miss When I’m Dead” podcast is out now — wherever you get your podcasts or right here

How dreadfully dull measuring a life in years. We should instead calculate our age by our number of smiles, total decibels of laughter, the volume of tears, pages read in books, the collective light intensity of sunsets and sunrises witnessed, times our hearts were broken and fixed, our kisses, orgasms, hangovers, awe-inspiring views.

Oh yeah… by the way… we’re all going to die.

I was first shocked by the prospect of death at the age of sixteen. I had hungrily consumed the complete works of Ernest Hemingway over a period of a few months after first discovering his writing. I…

Copenhagen’s development is just old wine in new bottles

This is a time and an age where we are thinking differently about our cities for the first time in a century. Copenhagen is often revered as a benchmark city but hapless politicians with a shocking lack of modern vision merely dazzle with smoke and mirrors. City Hall continues to dust off urban development ideas that date from the 1950’s and 1960’s. It’s all just old car-centric wine in new bottles and none of it tastes good. Don’t believe the hype.

The political party that has controlled Copenhagen for well over a century — the Social-Democrats — have an dark…

So there you stand. The Gatekeeper. Tasked with defending the great bastion of Motordom and upholding a last-century codex about city planning and engineering. Your job is important. Keeping the streets clear of irritating, squishy obstacles so that Motordom’s armada can continue flowing freely. Don’t worry about Ignoring the Bull. You ARE the bull and don’t you forget it.

What tools are at your disposal? What are the most effective ways to reverse 7000 years of city life and keep pedestrians out of the way, under control, under your greasy thumb, Gatekeeper? We’ve compiled a list for you.

Adopt one…

First Day of School for Felix — now eighteen years old

My oldest kid turned eighteen this year and here in late summer 2020, he just started his third year of high school. In Denmark, kids start school a year later than most other places. The thing is, now that he is eighteen, the government just starts paying him to go to school. It’s like they place some sort of societal value on our citizens educating themselves or some crazy thing like that.

Every month, the government deposits 2700 Danish kroner in his bank account. That’s

€363 / $432 USD. All he had to do was apply for it online, which…

Standard mask-wearing style in Greece

Reflections and observations on a mask-light holiday in Greece in a COVID age. Having spent 504 hours on holiday, we had a mask on our faces for about… 90 minutes. We felt safe and at ease.

Living in Copenhagen, capital of one of the countries in the world that tackled the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis best — choosing a possible holiday destination involved researching what other beach holiday nations in Europe had done well, too. Coming from Denmark, where the authorities never recommended facemasks (until early August, only then recommending them for use on public transport in rush-hour)…

Fixing Lebanon with AI — a fiction series proposal

Dēmos — rough pitch for a drama series by Mikael Colville-Andersen.

Back in January, on a visit to Beirut, I started work on a tv series proposal and chose Lebanon as the country in which to set the series. There was good reason to choose Lebanon then and with recent events, it just become much more relevant and real. This is a fiction series. In rough form.


Two childhood friends from Copenhagen, Jonas and Anna, are preparing to launch the boldest Artificial Intelligence (AI) project the world has ever seen.

Last night my friends and I performed a thorough test of our fundamental freedom in Danish society. We were also drunk and quite naked in front of the Danish Parliament.

Testing the limits of freedom in Danish society. :-)

Let’s be clear from the get-go. My friends and I had been consuming wine in the centre of Copenhagen and having a splendid time. This can also be interpreted as: we were rather inebriated. Earlier in the day, an interview with me was published in a cool, weekly Danish newsletter called Morgenposten wherein I was asked some questions about “Me and my City”. …

“Excuse me… can you help me find this address?”

In a life-sized city, people get around with visual clues instead of street names and house numbers.

Hi… excuse me… can you help me find this address?

An oft-used phrase for visitors in a foreign city, albeit less these days with the rise of smartphones and google maps. A few years ago I met up with an American visitor here in Copenhagen. When we were done, he showed me an address for his next meeting and asked how to get there on foot. …

The story of the relationship between the Danish writer and philosopher Søren Kierkegaard and Regine Olsen. The greatest love story never told.

A number of years ago when I worked in the film industry, I spent an entire year researching a feature screenplay. As often happens in the fanciful film and TV industry, it was never made. I recently rediscovered my work while cleaning up and thought I would put it here.

Søren Kierkegaard is one of history’s greatest thinkers and philosophers — the Father of Existentialism, no less. His thoughts and words have inspired generations of philosophers and continue…

Mikael Colville-Andersen

Urban playmaker, designer, host of The Life-Sized City tv series about urbanism. Author of “Copenhagenize”. Impatient Idealist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store