To celebrate their 25th anniversary, U-stal, manager of several guarded bike parking facilities in the city of Utrecht, held a competition to generate ideas about what bicycle parking of the future may look like. The third prize went to the concept of "pop-up parking". With flexible racks and projected road markings, empty office buildings or stores can quickly be converted into bicycle parking facilities. These temporary spaces would be easy to find with an app.
Second place went to the design of railway station cycle parking created by a staff member of Nunc Architects. His idea was to bring the cyclist as close to the trains as possible. He placed the bike racks directly above the platforms, combined with shops, catering and waiting rooms. The design can also include bike repair facilities, charging points and bicycle rental services. With the bikes in plain sight on the platform, safety is not an issue.
The first prize did not go to a ready-made design but to a vision on how technological developments can change guarded bike parking. For instance, instead of having to go through a narrow pay gate, cyclists can enter the facility through wide entrances and are registered by RFID-tags. Locks are built into the racks and LED lights show where available places can be found. Finally, systems are installed to automatically arrange the facility in its optimal lay-out according to the level of business.