MAKE SPACE GREAT AGAIN: keeping cycling pleasant

How can we make sure cycling in our big cities stays pleasant? This was the driving question behind the Board of Government Advisors’ project “Ontwerpen aan Nederland Fietsland” (“Designing Nederland Fietsland”). PosadMaxwan was one of four teams to research ways of improving quality of life in inner cities through the use of alternative traffic and parking solutions. Zuidpoort, the area just south of Utrecht’s city centre, served as a case study for our report, entitled “MAKE SPACE GREAT AGAIN”.

Cities are embracing cycling en masse, since it’s a sustainable, popular means of transport – but its popularity is presenting new challenges. In Utrecht, more than 100,000 cyclists now cross the city centre every day on their way to school, work, shops or the train station. The increase in cyclist numbers and the infrastructure needed as a result is putting pressure on the quality of public space.

“MAKE SPACE GREAT AGAIN” focuses on developing tools for getting parked cars and cycles off the overcrowded streets. This will free up space for more attractively designed public areas and improved cycle- and pedestrian-friendliness in Dutch city centres. Prioritising spatial quality with every infrastructural intervention will improve accessibility as well as liveability. 

The “Ontwerpen aan Nederland Fietsland” project has its origins in the 2014 report “Nederland Fietsland”. In it, PosadMaxwan partner Rients Dijkstra, then Dutch Government Advisor on Infrastructure and the City, argued that the government should rethink the bicycle’s role in its mobility policy.