As a Rotterdamer, I’m used to the cars honking on the Zwartjanstraat or the bike traffic jams at the Erasmus Bridge. But the quiet Felyx bikes with students and parents cheering on electric scooters always put a smile on my face. It looks like we’re moving forward a few years in a short amount of time. Where quiet, diversified and eco-friendly transportation is the most natural thing in the world. The reporter went a little further and shared the utopia of artist Jan Kaminsky: What do you get when you make cars disappear? I start dreaming. How nice if I travel to my favorite natural sites by electronic transport? This also makes my day outside cleaner and greener! It’s time to dream. How was the city traffic like in the past?
How was the car a symbol of freedom
In the 1960s, the city’s green spaces gave way to parking lots. More and more people began to live outside the city and Mobility flow grewما. The car was a symbol of freedom: it took you everywhere and fast. Catherijnesingel in Utrecht was filled in and converted into a motorway. Fifty years later, concrete and roads should give way to a canal surrounded by greenery. The car is no longer a symbol of freedom. You may realize this frustrating feeling of being stuck in a traffic jam for hours with hundreds of people. Or get annoyed when you try to cross that busy intersection in the middle of the city, but no one is letting you cross between them. And do you miss the green and blue spots in the city like me? When I go to my living environment on Check your spot tool See, I’ve noticed that there is a dire need for a nature-friendly city.
Much needed more nature in the city
On Check your place on Atlas Living Environment I see that the air quality in Crooswijk is poor. To be honest, that doesn’t surprise me. I rented an apartment in one of the largest and busiest cities in the Netherlands. And I live near the highway. Around rush hour I see cars crawling from my neighborhood exit to the center. The intersection around the corner is a test site for traffic controllers. This is busy.
But even the “green color” does not show the result I was hoping to achieve. In recent years, the municipality has made my area greener. For example, the stone footpath on one side of the Rotte has already given way to a green strip. The other side is still planned for this year. You can clearly see the difference now. And the green side is more fun! So more nature in the city is music to my ears.
New urban design تصميم
This makes me think: Can Felyx mini bikes and electric scooters contribute to a greener and cleaner city? I talked about it with Roxy Tak. Working on ANWB “City Traffic”: a new urban space design. Roxy is a strong supporter of small mobility and sees opportunities to free up more space for green spaces.
Make more space
Public spaces in cities are often limited. “We need to create a better balance while providing more space for recreation,” says Roxy. Like a balcony or yard. But also more space for green and water.” What does that mean for the city as it looks now? Roxy: “We need to provide more space (literally and figuratively) for the bike and other small transportation. The cycle path is very busy now in many places. This leads to conflict. Expansion is not possible everywhere. That’s why we thought about how to set it up differently. We developed a design methodology for this “City Traffic”. Municipalities use this method.”
New means of transportation sometimes arouse resistance from the population. The cargo bike takes up a lot of space on the cycle track. Felyx mini bikes “parked wildly” on sidewalks. According to Roxy, space has not been partitioned optimally: “We believe that shared transit creates space and does not take up space. You have to think carefully about which vehicles allow you their places. As ANWB, we see the possibilities of mixing different road users at lower speeds and separating them at higher speeds. There are roads Good for the car and the bike. We also want tracks for vehicles that are now sandwiched between two seats: cargo bikes, e-scooters, and mopeds. This prevents full bike paths, for example, so the cargo bike becomes a great alternative to the car and delivery truck.”
A nature friendly city, what’s next?
Traveling through the city center with my bike or bicycle is better for air quality. It provides opportunities for a nature-friendly city. This would be a nice step I’m taking myself towards a cleaner city ride. But as a city person, I also love nature. How do I get there in an eco-friendly way?
In addition to “City Traffic”, the ANWB will soon present a “Vision on Urban Mobility”. Roxy: “We also think about the role of the hub. These are the places where you get from the car or train to other modes of transportation.” Not only city dwellers drive their cars through the city center. But also people from out of town who come for a day to shop, an evening dinner or a nice walk in town. Roxy: “About ten percent of the traffic is search traffic: for a parking space or the right way. With hubs, getting to the city becomes easier and faster.” First by train and then take a Felyx bike or bicycle. These are great plans from ANWB. But what can I do myself to reduce my footprint?
Cars fly away, trees fly
After the conversation with Roxy, I have an idea that in Holland we (could) have a brighter future. And as they often say: a brighter future starts with yourself. So this month I will be making fewer non-essential trips. And I use less space on the road: if I plan to hike a little wider, I can go a long way with skis and the metro. And leave the car. Maybe I can share my car with someone? This saves a parking space! You can fill well with facade gardens. Full of different plants and trees.
These are my first steps. Now I will continue to dream. How nice would it be if it was a file The virtuous city Artist Jan Kaminsky becomes a reality? Cars are flying away and trees are flying in. Squares and buildings that are becoming greener. Roads give way to water. Many animals feel welcome in the centre. This way I don’t even have to travel for my piece of nature. I find him around the corner from me. In my city… You can dream, right?
“Twitter junkie. Lifelong communicator. Award-winning analyst. Subtly charming internetaholic.”