The 10 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2011


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2011 has been an incredible year on This Big City. We’ve published over 300 posts, won two awards, and have seen a 1,000% increase in traffic (and to think I was really pleased with how 2010 went!). But out of all this year’s posts, these ten were the most popular:

10. How Bike Lanes can Boost the Economy

In this post, Rachel Smith asks ‘should we, and can we, use economics to support the case for more safe and separated bikeways in our cities?’. Well, the answer seem pretty clear, with countless pieces of research and real-world examples from across the globe suggesting the same thing: bike networks are economically beneficial. Read the article here.

9. How Cycling Became an Integral Part of Life in New York City

Rachel Smith makes her second appearance in our top ten, this time exploring how bicycle infrastructure and culture has developed in New York City in recent years. With more citizens than ever before supporting bicycle network developments, Rachel suggests that ‘cycling is now, undeniably, an integral part of life in the Big Apple.’ Read the article here. 

8. How Walkable Streets can Boost the Economy

It’s not just bicycle networks that bring economic benefits. In this post, Adam Davies demonstrates how designing streets around pedestrians can be economically beneficial, potentially increasing house prices and boosting trade. Read the article here.

7. Five Cities, Five Different Congestion Solutions

Congestion is a problem in cities all over the world, but the way cities tackle congestion differs. In this article I look at Amsterdam, London, Shanghai, Beijing and Masdar, and the approach each city is taking to minimise the effects of congestion. Read the article here.

6. Forget New York City’s High Line. Introducing: the Low Line

Not content with having an enormous urban park above ground level, there is now talk of developing an underground park in New York. In this post, Tom Forster looks at how an abandoned railway terminal could soon house 60,000 square feet of parkland beneath the city streets. Read the article here.

5. The Real Reason Bicycles are the key to Better Cities

‘We all know the talking points – the benefits of bicycles have been tirelessly elaborated upon’, says Kasey Klimes in this post. Instead of covering the same ground, Kasey tells us the ‘real reason’ bicycles are great for cities, calling it an ‘instrument of experiential understanding’. Find out more here.

4. Five Innovations Hoping to Revolutionise Cycling

Bicycles have changed quite a lot since first emerging in the late 19th century. In this post, I look at five newly-launched cycling innovations, from strip lighting to seats that ‘complement the female form’, each of which is aiming to further revolutionise the two-wheeled transport option so popular at This Big City. Read the article here.

3. WikiCity – How Citizens can Improve their Cities

‘When governments don’t build infrastructure, citizens usually complain, but can’t do much about it’, says Jimena Veloz in this post. But that is changing, as these citizen-led urban innovations from Toronto, Mexico City and Los Angeles show. Read the article here. 

2. Will London’s new Wayfinding System get more People Walking?

‘Brand marketeers, graphic designers and geographers’ were all involved in London’s new on-street wayfinding system, resulting in a highly visual system that has made walking around London much easier. Adam Davies explains how a good wayfinding system can make a walkable, more sustainable, city. Read the article here.

1. WikiLane – How Citizens Built their own Bicycle Network

Further expanding on her WikiCity post, Jimena Veloz gave This Big City a first-hand report from Mexico City, where a frustrated collective of cycling activists built their own bicycle lane after local government failed to live up to their promises. Over one very busy week, Jimena’s post was seemingly shared in every corner of the internet, inspiring commentary on TreehuggerGrist, and countless others. Most importantly, it seemed to inspire This Big City’s readers, providing us with an empowering example of what citizens can achieve when they work together for a common goal. Jimena – thank you for your brilliant post, and thanks to everyone for visiting This Big City and making it our most popular post of the year. If it somehow passed you by first time around, check it out here.

So there we go! 2011 in a nutshell. Keep coming back to This Big City in 2012 – we’ll be doing everything we can to make it even better.

  • Future Cape Town

    Welldone Joe!