The cargo bike is a great alternative for the car in congested cities; with our stackable modules we give sustainable initiatives endless possibilities. Vélo M² (pronounced Vélo em carree) is a multi modular capsule system fitting on cargo bikes. With our energy module supplied by solar and pedal power you can have the electricity on location to power an open-air cinema, a mobile fablab and much more on top. We bring all these plans to an open source platform and community where anybody can contribute. Cargo Bikes can be used for more then only transport, with Vélo M² we give the tools to rethink how we interact, move and use energy.
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Vélo M²’s creators, who work on the cross-section of urbanism, culture and innovation, have the ambition to enhance the wellbeing in Brussels by transforming public space to the needs of the people with one square meter of flexible and temporary value. In a first phase a mobile cinema and a literary fablab module, will be developed but as possibilities are endless, other modules will follow shortly after. As it is an open source project, other collectives are invited to come up and design their own application in the form of a module.
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Vélo M² is a multi-modular cargo bike that offers a constructive answer to the following challenges of the modern city: bad air quality & congestion due to the huge amounts of cars, the lack of high quality public space due to privatization and excessive real estate development.
We plan to reclaim public space using our versatile cargo bike by offering the people special activities powered by renewable energy. From relaxing to playing, from learning to creating, people get the chance to interact and to meet each other and to pedal together for the electricity needed. Thereby facilitating civic connection and cultural exchange, which leads to more social cohesion and happier cities all this in a sustainable fashion by generating our own power.
- Imagine a warm summer night in a park, it’s getting dark. Suddenly a futuristic bike appears. In a wink of an eye it transforms the area in an open air cinema powered by several bike stands in a row. Adding free fun, excitement, light and new experiences to public space thanks to a box of 1m².
- Imagine a square with people, Vélo M² arrives and proposes you to write a love letter or poem for a loved one or passerby. Your literary creation becomes a tactile gift thanks to our “Gesneden Woord” (Cut Words) module. Consisting of a 3D printer and laser cutter powered by the solar panel placed besides.A mobile fablab, bringing your words to the tangible realm and for you to keep or give away.
Where does the energy come from?
The event is powered by the Energy module that provides the platform to plug in you electricity consumers. The electricity is stored in the battery and the power is converted by the DC/AC inverter to a regular socket. Before starting off with the Vélo M² bike, the Energy module can be charged so you don’t have to worry about the electricity. But the project doesn’t stop there, charging on place becomes reality with the energy regulation of the module.
The environmental impact of the energy depends on the charging method of the battery. Can you live with the regular electricity mix of the electricity grid? Or do you prefer to use the nature forces of wind and sun? Or do you want to measure your own strength and generate your own power on your bike? With the use of universal bike stands people can set a generator in motion and generate their contributions to the electricity demand. Don’t overestimate the human force – seven people is just enough to power the cinéma module. One has to chose, or you pedal to generate electricity, or you pedal to get forward – it’s like you bike light dynamo slowing you down when illuminating the road. These renewable energy sources in combination with the Energy module make events in public spaces independent of fossil fuels, being sustainable and keeping the air clean.
There where already plans to make a modular cargo bike in march 2014, but it isn’t until July 2014 where Bram from Urban Foxes and Yannick from Soft Revolution came in contact with Milena from Ciklic that the project started to become something concrete.
The first attempt at finding money was through a crowdfunding campaign. It gave us a nice video, but we didn’t got all the money we needed. But nevertheless thanks to this first attempt to give our project from we knew we where on to something. We got a lot of Press attention and the team got bigger with the addition of Florent and Maria.
In the winter of 2014-2015 plans where made and Ciklic started working on a electric module. Later, in april Soft Revolution and Urban Foxes got the opportunity to show of the bike in the Bozar for the WeTraders project.
From that moment on the bike was headed to the workshop of Florent and is in full experimentation modus. In July a electric bike guide tour organization used it to make a small trip with a child. A little trip before the giant leap to POC21 in August!
At the moment we are working on the further development of the project through different collaboration. If you have something to add to the project, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if you have an amazing idea you can always contact us if you want to think about your own module.