BicipúbliCartago is part of the Healthy and Sustainable Mobility Project, which is organized by the Municipality of Cartago in collaboration with the Dutch Embassy in Costa Rica and A Foundation.

The aim of BicipúbliCartago is promoting the use of bicycles as non-motorized transport in the old capital of Costa Rica, the city of Cartago. The bike is an eco-friendly means of transportation that reduces road congestion in cities, leading to a purer air for the entire population. At the same time it contributes to the physical and mental health of its users by doing exercise, the involved weight loss as well as lower levels of stress as they arrive faster to their final destination without having to waste time in traffic jams. Additionally, it is an economical means of transportation that uses human energy instead of fuel resulting in considerable savings compared to motorized transport.

The BicipúbliCartago project consists of two phases. The first phase begins in the second half of 2014 with the opening of three bike rental stations, called Bicidores -a conjunction of the Spanish words "bicicletas" and "contenedores"- due to the fact that they are designed with the use of shipping containers. The Bicidores will be located at the Railway Station of Cartago (TUC according its Spanish abbreviation), the University College of Cartago (CUC) and the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC). They will form a strategic triangle where the users can receive a bicycle in one of the stations and give it back in any of the other. In this first phase, the project provides free use of bicycles to the students and teachers of the CUC and the TEC by registering with their university card. In the second phase, the bikes will be available to the entire population, due to a security and payment system that will be developed by the TEC with a team of international assistance. The implementation of the second phase is projected for 2016.

The stations of the BicipúbliCartago project are designed by A Foundation in collaboration with the Municipality of Cartago. All stations are embedded in upgraded urban plazas for all citizens to enjoy. The Bicidor at the railway station will generate the first intermodal transport hub in the country, since several public transport stations (bus and inter-city trains), taxi drop-off points and public parking areas for private vehicles will converge in this place. Like this, the users of the system will be able to switch among the different modes of motorized and non-motorized transport in order to arrive fluidly at their final destination.

Decreasing the use of the car, avoiding traffic jams, protecting the environment and improving the health of people, among others, the project promotes an integrally sustainable urban development in terms of social, economic, environmental and physical means. The architecture of the BicipúbliCartago system reflects the projection of Cartago towards its modern and sustainable future. A complementary media and education campaign to learn about the benefits of non-motorized transport has been developed with the support of the Dutch Embassy in Costa Rica.

BicipúbliCartago responds to earlier projects developed by A-01, such as C.C.M.E.C., Intermanzana, P.N.S.G.A.M., P.O.D., and Trama Verde.


Team: A Foundation (Oliver Schütte, Marije van Lidth de Jeude, José Pablo González, Misael Rodriguez) with the Municipality of Cartago and the Dutch Embassy in Costa Rica

Scope: Architectural Design, Education Campaign, Media Campaign, Urban Design

Bicycle Design: A Foundation (Oliver Schütte and Marije van Lidth de Jeude) with GW Bicycles (Rolando Arroyave)

Sustainable Construction: A Foundation (Oliver Schütte) with Consost (Pablo Mora)

Tensile Structures: A Foundation (Oliver Schütte) with Eurotoldos (Randall Campos)

General Contractor Femaco

Location: Cartago, Costa Rica

Status: Completed

Year: 2013-2014