Slow City: In the beginning were the Provos (and the White Plans)

luud-provo-cop-white-bike

To understand Luud Schimmelpennink’s White Bicycle Plan, it helps to have a look at the broader context of values, philosophy and politics that were prevailing in Amsterdam at that time –  the Provos, a Dutch counterculture youth movement in the mid-1960s.

And if one concludes that this was more or less what was going on in other parts of Europe and North America, you would be right.  And a bit wrong. The Dutch were digging deeper. At least this part of Dutch society was.

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Op-Ed. On Motorized Two-Wheelers in Taiwan (and cities around the world)

Taipei M2Ws at intersection - larger

Wayne Gao on M2Ws in Taiwan

World Streets has for some years now  pushed hard for the idea of an integrated strategic planning approach and operations plan for the better, safer use of motorized two wheelers in and around cities. This has largely been an uphill struggle.  Not to claim that there have not been innovations and improvements here and there. But for the most part, this creeping problem continues insidiously to take on ever great proportions, while those responsible continue to look elsewhere. We really need to do better than that.

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To fix Sustainable Transport: Ensure Full Gender Parity in all Planning, Decision and Investment Fora (QED)

FB WTL - turkish women on bicycles

Every day is a perfect occasion for World Streets to announce publicly, loudly and yet once again our firm belief that the most important single thing that our society, our nations and our cities could do to increase the fairness and the effectiveness of our transportation arrangements would be to make it a matter of the law that all decisions determining how taxpayer money is invested in the sector should be decided by councils that respect full gender parity. We invite you to join us in this challenge and make it one of the major themes of sustainable transport policy worldwide in the year immediately ahead.

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Archives: Homage to Hans Monderman

Unexpected interview in Groningen (On the street and straight to the point)


1 min 20 sec – May 30, 2006

Description: What? You know all about transport in cities and you have never heard of Groningen? Well, check out this an unexpected street interview in Groningen, a slice of life as lived by our old friend and transport innovating colleague (and now World Eyes on the Street correspondent from Portugal) Robert Stussi.

He has titled it: A Homage to Hans Monderman. Hear, hear!

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Did we hear anyone say. . . Thanks, Luud?

luud-looking-through-bike-wheelA GREAT IDEA HAS WINGS:

HERE’S A NUMBER  LUUD CAME UP WITH IN 1967  (that it took the world a full generation  to understand and finally equal).

The number was 10,000.

(But it was not only a number — it was at its base a wonderful, original and city-transforming, environmental and life quality concept.)

This was the number of white bicycles that Mr. Schimmelpennink proposed in his public bike master plan for Amsterdam in 1967. (Proposal rejected by the municipal council.)

After that radio silence on the  post-White Bike front for seven years.  It took until 1974 for the first new public bike project when the city of La Rochelle launched a free bike-sharing programme, Vélos Jaunes (Yellow Bikes). Followed at first slowly, cautiously but then increasingly with a mounting wave of tidy new projects, most in Europe, most successful, and almost all of them small.

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In the beginning were the Provos (and the White Plans)

luud-provo-cop-white-bike

To understand Luud Schimmelpennink’s White Bicycle Plan, it helps to have a look at the broader context of values, philosophy and politics that were prevailing in Amsterdam at that time –  the Provos, a Dutch counterculture youth movement in the mid-1960s.

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Grassroots 2017 campaign: Thanks Luud for all you have done, taught and inspired us.

luud-schimmelpennink-on-bike-at-80

I propose we keep this simple and collaborative.  Starting as we did yesterday with a simple announcement suggesting that perhaps this could be an idea well worth pursuing, together. And then as a next step  in this process opening up several coordinated channels for your thoughts, comments and perhaps additional articles and references on Luud’s work and contributions that may, small step by small step, start to give us a firmer foundation to pursue this idea.

So at this point I believe that my best contribution will not be to add additional essays with my own thoughts and reasons on this, but rather to open up the field for sharing your thoughts.

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