Europe Dispatch: EU Green Capital and Amsterdam Cycling Utopia

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Amsterdam, city of bikes. The streets are full of them, Dutch "Granny bikes" with upright handlebars piloted by stylish hipsters and real grannies.

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Fifty percent of people in Amsterdam ride a bike at least once a day. On Sunday we saw one car driving for every fifty bikes riding around historic district beyond Dam square. Bikes with trailers, bike wagons pedaled by thirty people, with beer keg on board [Ed: see orange contraption in middle of above photo]. Today, a Monday, it's about one to one car to bike, and we're on the latter. Bike lanes ring every canal, and through the use of islands and curb cuts, (Bicycle planner is noteworthy profession in Holland's cities), intersections are designed for complete bike and pedestrain access.

And now Amsterdam is making sustainable mobility the showcase of its transportation plan with ambitious goals set for 2010. The city motto is now, "Cycling to Sustainability." More on that later.

After addressing the EU last week in both Brussels and Paris, I will return to the States with heady optimism for what can be achieved in the world's cities and beyond. Europe is even hosting a "Green Capital Europe" program for 2010 and 2011 with different cities now applying for the honor.

I nominate Amsterdam from what I've seen. Paris and its Velib bike rental program is an amazing success, but in Amsterdam, I've witnessed the promise of a new future that is emerging now. Giant wind power turbines outside the city, trains, trams, bikes and people walking everywhere.

Off we go!


Photos: Flicker user redjar, Warren

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1 Comments

Amsterdam is a great place with many wonderful places and it is nice to explore it by riding a bicycle. These is a great experience for tourist to roam around and enjoy the city.


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About the Author

    Warren Karlenzig
Warren
Warren Karlenzig, Common Current founder and president, has worked with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (lead co-author United Nations Shanghai Manual: A Guide to Sustainable Urban Development in the 21st Century, 2011); United Nations Center for Regional Development (training of mayors from 13 Asian nations on city sustainable economic development and technology); provinces of Guizhou and Guangdong, China (urban sustainability master planning and green city standards); the United States White House and Environmental Protection Agency (Eco-Industrial Park planning and Industrial Ecology primer); the nation of South Korea ("New Cities Green Metrics"); The European Union ("Green and Connected Cities Initiative"); the State of California ("Comprehensive Recycling Communities" and "Sustainable Community Plans"); major cities; and the world's largest corporations developing policy, strategy, financing and critical operational capacities for 20 years.

Present and recent clients include the Guangzhou Planning Agency; the Global Forum on Human Settlements; the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Bureau; the US Department of State; the Asian Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; the non-governmental organization Ecocity Builders; a major mixed-use real estate development corporation; an educational sustainability non-profit; and global corporations. Read more here.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Warren Karlenzig published on June 2, 2008 3:44 AM.

Cap and Trade Comes to Town was the previous entry in this blog.

Bike Share: the Future of Carbon-free Urban and Suburban Mobility is the next entry in this blog.

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