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Mega City Moscow discovers cycling

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Dutch cycling experts visit Moscow for the public diplomacy event ‘Moscow Urban Planning: Cycling & Mobility’ on December 7-8. 

Invited by the State University-Higher School of Economics and the Netherlands Embassy in Moscow, Rob van der Bijl (GoDutchCycling) for Dutch Cycling Embassy, in co-operation with his colleagues Johan Diepens (Mobycon) and Janine Hogendoorn (Ring Ring), presented at the event. The event aimed to bring together Russian and Dutch expertise in the area of cycling and cycling infrastructure and to discuss solutions for specific challenges in Moscow in the area of cycling infrastructure. Moreover, it was aimed to start a continuing dialogue between Russian decision-makers and Dutch experts on Moscow cycling development.

According the explanation of the Netherlands Embassy in Moscow the event focused on four specific topics that represent specific challenges in Moscow, on which the Netherlands has ‘niche’ knowledge, namely (1) benefits of cycling, (2) safety, (3) planning and participation, and (4) innovation.

The event in Moscow targeted a broad audience that is professionally and non-professionally involved in cycling and mobility issues. In this regard the event aimed successfully  at two audiences, by means of two different acts respectively. December 7 the general public interested in cycling and cycling infrastructure were invited in the Dostoyevski library for the first act, hosted by Higher School of Economics.  December 8 was dedicated to professionals and decision-makers from government, knowledge-institutions and civil society. This second act targeted professionals from the mobility sector and civil society, specifically people working in transport and cycling infrastructure areas. Particularly involved were professionals from the Moscow City government, the Moscow Department of Transport, the Higher School of Economics and representatives from the Moscow cycling community.

Rob van der Bijl particularly addressed the question how cycling community and citizens of Moscow Mega City could be involved in decision-making about cycling. His presentations underlined related questions like how can the cyclists community be supported? Or how Moscow administration and government can cooperate with universities  and knowledge institutions? Singapore, Paris, Bogota and Berlin were mentioned as important references as well inspiring examples of similar mega cities.

In a workshop at the Strelka institute he guided  his specific case about cycling and mobility in Moscow. Key issue here was the interactive inventory of short term cycle initiatives, ideas and projects that can boost future, hence, long term development of cycling in Moscow Mega City. His colleague Johan Diepens (Mobycon) elaborated a suitable cycle network for the Butovo precinct at the southern fringe of Moscow metropolis. His other colleague Janine Hogendoorn (Ring Ring) addressed in her workshop the question how stakeholders could be involved as true participants in both cycling and cycling development.

Article by: Rob van der Bijl (GoDutchCycling)

Image: Compiled inventory map of short term cycle initiatives, ideas and projects for Moscow Mega City.


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