Köln on the Way to a Real Bicycle City

Koln Small

Dutch Cycling Embassy joins the event 'The Bicycle in City Traffic: Experiences from the Netherlands' in Köln.

On Friday, October 8th, 2021, the event 'The Bicycle in City Traffic: Experiences from the Netherlands' took place at the IHK Köln. A meeting organized in cooperation of the IHK, Netherlands Embassy in Berlin, the Netherlands Consulate General Düsseldorf, and the Dutch Cycling Embassy. With about 50 attendees from cities in North Rhine-Westphalia, the interest in Dutch expertise on cycling in the city proved to be very high.

Led by moderator Cherine de Bruijn, the meeting featured the trailer of Together We Cycle and Ulreich Soenius (IHK) proudly expressed his delight at being able to host an event like this.

Ruben Loendersloot (Loendersloot Groep) moderated the session where the Dutch Cycling Embassy presented itself to the German attendees. In a varied half hour, Ruben's presentation emphasized the livable city and the indirect benefits of cycling in the city. "It's not just about the bicycle, but it's about what can be achieved with the bicycle, the connection."

Manuela Studer (Goudappel) turned her gaze to the technical design of the bicycle-friendly city. How do we safely design intersections where we cross by both bicycle and car, and how can a city become so much more beautiful in a short period of time by giving space to the bicycle? "By making space in a city for bicycles and designing bottlenecks safely, you automatically attract cyclists."

Norbert Schmidt (APPM) cast his eye over the space given to cycling in the Netherlands. It is not only the separate cycle paths, but also the enormous bicycle parking facilities in large cities that contribute to a city where the cyclist plays the leading role. He also gave insight into the experiments APPM likes to conduct, such as the specific Think Bike Workshops to show what cycling can do for the city, and where policy makers can see in real life how to reform a city to make it more bicycle friendly. "Change in traffic policy is also a cultural change."

The concluding podium discussion zoomed in further on the situation in Cologne and its surroundings and discussed the possibilities and opportunities, supported by interesting insights from the other experts. This two-hour meeting felt like more, and there will be more. In the coming months, the Dutch Cycling Embassy, together with the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin and the ADFC, will organize four online webinars in which the discussed important themes will be further explored. You can register for free via this link.

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