In car-clogged urban areas across the world, the humble bicycle is enjoying a second life as a legitimate form of transportation. City officials are rediscovering it as a multipronged (or -spoked) solution to acute 21st-century problems, including affordability, obesity, congestion, climate change, inequity, and social isolation.
As the world's foremost cycling nation, the Netherlands is the only country where the number of bikes exceeds the number of people, primarily because the Dutch have built a cycling culture accessible to everyone, regardless of age, ability, or economic means.
Chris and Melissa Bruntlett share the incredible success of the Netherlands through engaging interviews with local experts and stories of their own delightful experiences riding in five Dutch cities.
Building the Cycling City examines the triumphs and challenges of the Dutch while also presenting stories of North American cities already implementing lessons from across the Atlantic. Discover how Dutch cities inspired Atlanta to look at its transit-bike connection in a new way and showed Seattle how to teach its residents to realize the freedom of biking, along with other encouraging examples.
Tellingly, the Dutch have two words for people who ride bikes: wielrenner (“wheel runner”) and fietser (“cyclist”), the latter making up the vast majority of people pedaling on their streets and representing a far more accessible, casual, and inclusive style of urban cycling - walking with wheels.
Outside of their borders, a significant cultural shift is needed to seamlessly integrate the bicycle into everyday life and create a whole world of fietsers. The Dutch blueprint focuses on how people in a particular place want to move.
The relatable success stories will leave listeners inspired and ready to adopt and implement approaches to make their own cities better places to live, work, play, and - of course - cycle.
What members say
- John Simmerman
This is an engaging, entertaining and educational journey through the Dutch cycling experience as well as its subtle impact and influence on the world. Each chapter features fascinating interviews and incites from both the professionals on the ground in The Netherlands and in many of the cities, far and wide, that have been inspired to transform their own built environments and mobility options.
Perhaps what I found most enjoyable and satisfying was that it felt like a comfortable conversation of which I was a part. It proved to be instructive, but at the same time not pretentious or prescriptive and even, in the Dutch spirit, quite humble.
In fact, a reinforcing and important theme of this blueprint for urban vitality is that the Dutch realize that they don’t have all the answers and thus are constantly exploring, experimenting and evaluating as they strive to make their communities just that little bit more livable, comfortable and effective each day.
I believe this realization will prove to be really quite refreshing and inspiring for those of us here in North America actively working to create safer, more inviting places appropriate for all ages and abilities to ride.
I highly recommend Building the Cycling City and trust that you will find it to be as helpful and hopeful as have I.
2 people found this helpful
Great Performance Too
This text is compelling and dense with information. There are many books about taking cars off the road, but this text does not waste time making a case against cars. The author's vision for a cycling city of the future cites examples from both Europe and America.