Last Tuesday night I went to Amsterdam for another edition of “Bike & City” about the role and place for cyclists in European urban space. The theme was: “What can cities learn from each other in terms of using public space? What are the different strategies of these cities?” There was a key-note presentation from Meredith Glaser about the (distinct) differences between Rotterdam and Amsterdam. Adam Stones was in the hall as well, to inform the audience about developments in London. The acting Bicycle Mayor of Amsterdam, Anna Luten, explained about her work, together with Maud de Vries. Finally there were two people who were giving an on-line talk. Clotilde Imbert was in Brussels explaining about cycling in Copenhagen and Mark Ames from Strategic Cities was brought in live from Sydney (where it was 6 am!) to talk about the cycling in London. The whole evening was in English and recorded. You can see the full two-hour event in a video made by the venue “Pakhuis de Zwijger”.
When Mark Ames explained about all the factors which contributed to the change in London he suddenly also mentioned: “We were able to look to the internet and Mark Wagenbuur, the author of the BicycleDutch blog, had created a video called ‘How the Dutch got their cycle paths’. It detailed the history of the Stop de Kindermoord movement in the Netherlands, (Stop the Child Murder) and we basically said: ‘Okay, well there’s our strategy! We’ll just do what the Dutch did.’ We copied them directly. We took notes. We said: ‘They had an impact, hopefully we can have an impact!’. And that’s where this movement came from.” (From 50:47 in the video)
High praise from Mark (who didn’t even know I was there hearing this) for which I thanked him of course, after the event on Twitter.
Bike City #11 from Pakhuis de Zwijger on Vimeo.
I came to the venue by bicycle of course; an OV-Fiets which I had rented at Amsterdam Central Station, where I had arrived by train from Utrecht. From the rental bike location I went through the tunnel to get to the back of the station. When I reached the ferry terminal with the shared space solution, I noticed it was the golden hour, just before darkness, and the sky was an incredible deep blue. With a ferry arriving I got out my phone and filmed two minutes for you to see and hear what it is like there just after the evening rush hour around 18:45h on a Tuesday. Enjoy!
A short video of the shared space ferry terminal at Amsterdam Central Station.