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Reducing bicycle thefts in the city


3 bicis

To encourage more bicycle use in the city, Barcelona is looking for a bike parking system that enhances the security of private cycles.



The City of Barcelona continues to make an important commitment towards the use of bicycles as a sustainable and safe means of transport. In 2012 there were 97km of cycle paths in the city and the network is continually being extended and improved. Over 126,000 trips are made daily by bicycle in Barcelona with two thirds of those being taken on private bikes. Barcelona currently has over 22,000 parking spaces for cycles distributed in 2,500 installations across the city. However, growing these figures further is hindered by the security of bicycles in the city.

Measures have been taken to tackle bicycle thefts including a citywide registration system accessed by the local police to help with returning stolen bicycles. Some local retailers are also offering customers a combined cycle registration and insurance system which covers public liability and third party incidents. However, the schemes are not having the necessary impact and bicycle security continues to be an issue in the city.

Barcelona is looking for a bicycle parking system to roll out across the city to provide cyclists with a secure option when leaving their bikes. The system should be user-friendly and robustly link owners directly with their bicycle as well as integrate additional elements to incentivise cyclists to use the service. These may include insurance against theft, bicycle registration, partnerships with local retail outlets or other innovations.

As in most urban contexts, public space is limited. Designs involving overground, underground or multilevel solutions will be considered. The ideal solution will use public space rationally and offer a compact solution optimising the restricted space available.

The winning solution must offer a sustainable business model. The system should be modular and easily scalable so that it can adapt to the needs of different neighbourhoods. The implementation of the service will take place progressively but the winning solution will need to implement at a significant scale from the beginning to incentivise use.

Barcelona’s vision is to continually improve the safety and security offered to bicycle users in the city. The winning solution will enhance the services offered to cyclists and so encourage more private bicycle usage and support the city’s drive towards increasingly sustainable inner-city transport.


Further background reading:

Pla de foment de la bicicleta a Barcelona; July 2012


8 Comments Post a comment
  1. dabara90 #

    I’ve though about it many time since I’m a dayly user of private bike in Barcelona and I’ve been robbed twice. By reducing the bike stealing rate in the city, Barcelona will encourage and reinforce the use of bike as a great option for transportation inside the city while reduceing the cars, pollution emitted by those and a healthier live style, which I think it’s beneficial for the whole society. I believe I’ve got a solution for this issue and I would like to find somebody who may be interested in performing a project for this contest and could help me with the digital support of it. If anyone interested please leave me a reply. I’m 24 with a degree in civil engineering, not that much expirience but high motivation.

    May 25, 2014
    • @dabara90: I will be in BCN on June 4-5-6 and have been working for internet startups since the year 2000 (but in mktg, sales – not a tech person). If interested in chatting up, please reply to this message. Massimo

      June 3, 2014
      • dabara90 #

        @dotcoma: Michael (above) and I are working on a project together. Certainly, we would be interested to arrange a meeting with you. How about tomorrow at 19h?

        June 3, 2014
      • Hello! Could you please send me a message to m.moruzzi AT gmail dot com? I have a meeting at 16 in Barceloneta. Then I will go to my friend’s apartment close to metro station Dos de Maig. 19 could be ok. If you send me a message I’ll leave you my phone number etc so we can keep up via whatsapp. Thanks.

        June 3, 2014
  2. @Dabara90 I am also interested in partnering – and now more than ever. I finally had my bike repaired after it was sitting in storage for 2 years. The day after I rode it again for the first time it was stolen. With 2 locks! I also have some ideas. Let’s discuss.

    May 28, 2014
  3. hi there, I’m also interested in participating, but for now in remote since I’m in Italy, in Pisa, and the situation is equal or worse. I will be in BCN on 16-17 of june.
    I have also ideas, which I already exposed in a similar contest with no luck. I just wish this problem to be solved. My email cjrosales AT gmail DOT com, I can do a google hangout, just let me know.

    June 4, 2014
  4. samsonkwiz #

    @dabara90 please am in Ugand.a Africa and i would like to know how you accomplished d challenge for i want to do arelated project for my city as well.

    September 8, 2014
    • dabara90 #

      Nice to meet you. Let’s talk by mail, could you write me at so we can share info and talk about your issue.

      September 9, 2014

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