Amsterdam is frequently touted as the bicycle mecca of the world and rightfully so– more trips are made by bicycle than car and an estimated 40% of residents use the bicycle as their primary means of transportation there.

View From A Patch Of Grass
A typical scene in Amsterdam. Photo credit: Marc van Woudenberg

Amsterdam truly is a sustainable city inspiration but even this fair city struggles to accommodate bicyclists. There are an estimated 300,000 bikes in public spaces throughout the city at any one time, however there are only 200,000 official bicycle parking spots. This means that about 100,000 bicycles are stored unofficially or illegally. So what’s the solution?

Floating Bike Parking at Amsterdam Central Stations

A bicycle parking structure by Amsterdam’s central station. Photo credit: portlandtransport

Amsterdam has put floating bike parking on water, underground and the latest attempt is to put bicycle parking on rooftops!

Dutch company Velominck is working on this inventive solution, here’s how it would work:

When you arrive at your destination, you find a Velominck station and swipe a transport card a little like one of London’s Oyster cards against a terminal so it knows who you are. A door opens, and you clip your bike into a robotic arm, which then pulls it up a transparent elevator to the roof. It can then be safely stored there until the owner returns and swipes the card again — which summons the bike down from the rooftop.

Sound incredible? Learn more about this project (and see a picture of what it could look like) over at Wired. And if that weren’t enough, the Dutch are even thinking about converting empty office buildings into bicycle parking structures!