Bike Box Helsinki was a project run by the Nature League of Finland (LUPPI) in which young people were invited to design and build a cargo bike. The idea for the project stemmed from the question: what would cargo bikes look like if designed by urban teens? Cargo bikes are generally designed by adults, for adults, after all. What design features would a cargo bike have, if it was designed by teenagers, for teenagers, to fulfil the differing needs they have in their lives? Where do they go? How often? What do they need to carry? Possibly most importantly, how should it look?
Following a competition in 2015, a group of six 13-20 year olds was invited to take part in weekly design sessions, guided by mentors. Designing gave way to building and the group gained practical and teamwork skills. As part of the program, these skills were reinforced by bike maintenance classes given to the group, setting the teens up for a lifetime of tinkering with bikes.
By engaging young people in the whole process of designing and building a cargo bike, LUPPI hoped to encourage the group to think about using sustainable forms of transport and to consider the possibility that a bicycle could provide for their daily transportation needs.
The finished cargo trike was unveiled at the end of November 2016. It was donated to the youth centre where the group of youngsters regularly meet up. Should they have a need to use it, the trike is available to the teens and their peers at the centre to borrow.
Innovations: community, DIY build
Organisation: LUPPI (Nature League of Finland)
Basis: One-off project
Momentum Mag: “Box Bike Helsinki”
Bike Citizens: “Box Bike Helsinki: Cargo Bikes Made by Youngsters”
munstadi.fi: “Mikä ihmeen Boss Bike?” (Finnish)