Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Digital Exchange on Cycling in Japan

8 July 2021

Dutch Cycling Embassy holds its first digital public event and associated ThinkBike workshop in Japan this July.

The Dutch Cycling Embassy held its first digital public event and the associated digital ThinkBike workshop this July to draw attention to decades of Dutch cycling-experience and -expertise!

The main aim for the sessions was to make the Dutch experience and expertise available to Japan – not for simply copy and paste, but to discuss how this could be applied wisely by considering the specific Japanese conditions of urban planning and space, as well as governance, history, culture, and lifestyles.

The two separate digital sessions were part of the larger platform, which is launched in the weeks leading up to the Olympic Games in Japan, to draw attention to collaborations between Japan and the Netherlands.

The first session was opened by HE the Netherlands Ambassador to Japan Mr. Peter van der Vliet from the Embassy’s studio in Japan. The session consisted of a brief introduction of the Dutch Cycling Embassy, short screening of Together We Cycle, an introduction to Dutch Cycling principles and a panel discussion with an expert panel consisting of decision-makers, architects, and product designers, including a special appearance by Dutch bicycle producer VanMoof about their experiences with cycling in Japan.

The second session was shaped towards a more technical discussion with a different set of Japanese experts from various governments, leading NGO’s and architects.

Both sessions were moderated by Mr. Andy Pompilio from NHK World and the Dutch perspective was provided by Dutch panelists:

  • Rob van der Bijl from RVDB Urban Planning,
  • Willem Snel from &Morgen, and
  • Chris Bruntlett from the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

Some of the topics discussed during the second event were Japanese Urban Planning, Cycling mobility integration and Regulation/legislation. Both sessions were well visited by all kinds of experts who are in some way engaged in the process of developing cycling in Japan.

We see the event as the start of a series of ThinkBike workshops and related activities aimed at a representative selection of Japanese cities. With this mission, we consider cycling not only as a wonderful means of transport, but also as a trigger to sustainable mobility for the Japanese cities and their regions. As such, the current mobility system can transform into a system not dominated by traffic and cars, but contrary, based on human life and active mobility of cyclists and pedestrians – supported, of course, by the high-quality public transport that Japan is known for.

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