Last week, a delegation from the USA visited the Netherlands. The delegation consisted of 20 officials from a large number of cities and organizations throughout the States. The program of the visit, organized by People for Bikes, covered a week full of presentations, meetings and bike tours in several cities in the Netherlands.
Part of the program was run in Rotterdam. The meeting was hosted by APPM in Rotterdam. Erik Tetteroo welcomed everyone in the APPM office and shared some of the topics APPM works on. After this word of welcome, Christaan Leurs, Bart Christiaens and Warner Beumer gave presentations about cycling developments, current policies and design challenges within the city.
The layout of the city of Rotterdam is for a large part determined after the second world war, when the city needed to be rebuild. City planners at that time choose for city planning in line with Northern American cities in the 60’s. As a result, Rotterdam shows remarkable similarities to American cities when it comes to the layout of the city.
The staff of the city of Rotterdam shared how Rotterdam initiated the transition from a car-oriented city, towards a bicycle-friendly place focused on people. It was useful discuss challenges of car-oriented places together, showing how a city can transition and facilitate cycling in a safe and positive way.
After the presentations, the city officials showed the group around in Rotterdam during a cycling tour. The combination of presentations and a cycling tour proved to be both effective and enjoyable.