Cycling Cities: The Arnhem and Nijmegen Experience is the first book in the new series Cycling Cities: The Global Experience. The book, written by Eric Berkers and Ruth Oldenziel, was presented at Velo-city 2017.
The Dutch cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen both have a rich history of every aspect of cycling: utilitarian, leisure, and sport. Separated by two rivers for so long, today they are drawn closer through the cycle highway RijnWaalpad, aptly named after the rivers. The fast cycle route symbolizes their newfound joint efforts to encourage cycling as a healthy, efficient, and sustainable means of transport for this urban region.
The book traces the fascinating cycling histories of Arnhem and Nijmegen—from cycling tourists in 1900 scaling the region’s charming yet hilly landscape to urban commuters navigating the car-governed urban planning of the 1950s and 1960s and from cycling activists of the 1970s and the local and regional policymakers committed to cycling over the last two decades.
Cycling Cities: The Arnhem and Nijmegen Experience tells the tale of how two cities managed to become The Best Cooperating Cycling Region in the Netherlands in 2015; the host for two stages of the Giro d’Italia in 2016; and joint organizers of the world’s largest cycling conference Velo-city in 2017.
Campus authorities everywhere view parked bicycles as an eyesore. Not so fast. Adri de la Bruhèze argues that is a political issue in his interview with Twente University. If cycling is to be part of sustainable mobility mix, why not embrace the sea of parked bicycles as a much desirable symbol of sustainability?
The first PhD focuses on the governance of cycling in The Netherlands in a transnational context, with emphasis on the institutional role of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment since the 1920s in relation to selected cities and provinces. The second PhD focuses on the multi-level governance of cycling in The Netherlands through a number of historically significant case studies since the Second World War. The third PhD focuses on new mobility concepts in relation to cycling, assessing current trends and their potential. The fourth PhD focuses on the role of connected cycling in relation to the unfolding sharing economy.
How to create a cycling city? And is Amsterdam the real deal as the cycling capital of the world or not? Yesterday, Ruth Oldenziel kicked off the conversation with a guest lecture at the University of Amsterdam’s Summer School Grad Course Planning the City, where thirty scholars and practitioners from all over the world are studying these questions. These students were surprised to learn from Cycling Cities that Amsterdam’s history with cycling is checkered and almost an accident of history. The students learned about the five factors explaining why some cities cycle and others do not.
Carlton Reid praises Cycling Cities for its historical insight into the key question: what is more important for cities to become true cycling cities? Cycling infrastructures or Traffic calming? To illustrate the book’s key message, Reid quotes the authors: “Bicycle lanes and highways are expensive to build, but cost politically less because bicycle lanes do not question automobility. Traffic calming measures are cheaper – as Amsterdam discovered. They demand political courage …” See Reid’s review for an excellent introduction to the book’s key points.