World Streets is proposing to support the nomination of  the prolific Dutch environmentalist, industrial designer, provocateur Ludd Schimmelpennink  for a major international environmental award for his life-time contributions to sustainable development, sustainable cities and sustainable lives. (Our timetable for this submittal gives us one week from today, 10 November, to finalise the nomination.)

We invite the readers of World Streets to have a look and, if you will, get back to us with your suggestions to (a) edit, expand and improve the nomination whose draft follows.  And once you have had a look and thought about it, you are invited to join us in supporting this unusual nomination. If so, it would be great to have your name, position and organisation( if any), city and country.  And should you wish to add some brief remarks (less than 50 words max.), please do and our earnest editor will do his best.


Dutch environmentalist, industrial designer, provocateur, social inventor, public entrepreneur and local government politician, Luud Schimmelpennink has created and supported a steady stream of low-carbon, high-amenity innovations and systems for sustainable cities, innovations that are already literally changing the faces of our cities, and of our daily lives in many parts of the world.

His life work aims both to drastically reduce the number of conventional motor cars in urban areas for environmental and public health reasons, and to provide people of all economic classes with viable, clean and efficient alternative means of getting around in their daily lives.

If you would like to get a taste of the ethical temperature of the times, you may wish to have a look at the quite good Wikipedia piece on the Dutch Provo movement and their no less amazing White Plans.

Inventor of the shared public bike

Luud is the person who first set today’s world-wide pattern for free (shared) city bike projects already in Amsterdam back in the sixties.  In 1965 there was a single public bicycle project on the planet: the (in)famous White Bicycles of Amsterdam. But the informal trial was quickly shut down and ridiculed.

But the man behind the project persisted. In 1967 Luud Schimmelpennink ran for city government, won and presented a plan for 10,000 public bikes, this time from the inside.  Far too radical for present tastes, his plan was rejected by the administration and hung out to dry.  (Ref: https://goo.gl/LFwtMv )

Little matter! Today 50 years later there are more than 18 million public bikes on the streets of no less than 1,484 world cities (see @BikesharingMap ) . The man behind this “mad” idea, this quiet revolution was our persistent Dutch engineer.  But for him and the world, the White Bicycles in his home city and personal mobility lab of Amsterdam were just the beginning.

End of story?  Hardly

Inventor of  city carsharing

Luud quickly  picked up the pieces, went back to his workbench to pioneer and realise life-size the world’s first technology-based car-sharing system. It was brilliant, it was original and it worked. The all-electric Witkar took to the streets of Amsterdam between 1974 and 1986, serving four thousand users.  Like the White Bicycles, the project never got beyond the demonstration phase due to a lack of support by government. (Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witkar )

But once again Amsterdam’s loss was the world’s gain, with fully functional technology-based carsharing systems in operation, now offering cost-effective mobility to more than five million paying subscribers (est.) in thousands of cities in more than thirty countries on all continents, while once again proving for a second time that “Great ideas have wings”.

Undaunted, in 2006 Luud ran and was elected again to the Amsterdam Municipal Council, and is currently working on a new WitKar-type project for Amsterdam as well as continuing to promote community cycles in Amsterdam and in numerous cities world wide. Luud is Managing Director of the Ytech Innovation Centre in Amsterdam

Next move from Schimmelpennink? A “Slow City Zero-Carbon Multi-Modal Mobility Project”. Sound interesting?  He’s on his bike, 80 years old and just getting started. Stay tuned!

Vote for Luud!

Contact: eric.britton@ecoplan.org.  Skype: newmobility




Luud Schimmelpennink
Chairman. Ytech Innovation Centre
Amstel 59, Amsterdam 1018 EJ, The Netherlands
+31 20 626 3079 M. +31 6 51599426


Eric Britton
Professor. Sustainable Development, Institut Supérieur de Gestion, Paris
Founding Editor.  World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities
eric.britton@ecoplan.org | Tel. +336 5088 0787 | Skype newmobility

References (to be completed)

Ronald Haverman
Former director and developer of public transport/bicycle system
00316 5430 0269. T. 0031717 114 622
rhaverman@gmail.com. www.bikesharing.eu

Valéry Cervantes
ESPRIT project Coordinator
Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique
38054 Grenoble Cedex 9. France
T: + 33 4 38 78 94 17 . M: + 33 6 48 96 10 92   Valery.CERVANTES@cea.fr

Bert Lonsain
Industrial Design Studio
Mobile 00316 5195 8131. Office: 003120 8801 268
Surinamekade 14 1019BV Amsterdam.

Rein Jansma
Zwarts & Jansma Architects
003120 535 2200
rj@zwarts.jansma.nl. http://www.zwarts.jansma.nl



* How one Lion-hearted Dutch inventor gave bike-sharing to the world – http://wp.me/psKUY-4Qa

* Did we hear anyone say. . . Thanks, Luud? – https://goo.gl/WERG3v

* World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities  https://goo.gl/42JSQ6

* Facebook: Great ideas have wings –  https://goo.gl/Wvc5BG

* Twitter:  Thanks Luud – https://twitter.com/ThanksLudd

* LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8598247

* In the beginning were the Provos (and the White Plans) – https://wp.me/psKUY-4Xi

# # #

 * * * Draft text, notes for possible integration, addition to final version of nomination. — https://1drv.ms/b/s!AivPCmA_7fpkiId41P7It0LG1vv9Aw

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