"We all cycle" - the rise and rise of proud cycling cities


I'm spending the summer in the Netherlands, and have been learning so much about cycling in their cities.  What has become clear to me is that Dutch cities are increasingly competing for a share of the visitors who come here to learn about the Netherland's cycling and planning culture. Utrecht, host of this year's Grand Depart, is not alone in this - note how this incredible video touting their cycling achievements is presented in English rather than Dutch and really tries to "show off" the city as a beautiful place to visit (which it is, I hasten to add).



I think this is an interesting phenomenon for two reasons; firstly the internet is being recognised by cities as an effective tool for reaching and inspiring many people around the world, getting them excited and clearly demonstrating exportable concepts.  There's also a clear attempt here to attract high-spending tourists who are on learning-based trips.  In short, visiting cities to find out how they work has become a mini industry of its own!

What do you think? Have you spent time visiting cities in order to learn and find out what you can do in your own city? Do videos like this make you want to visit somewhere more? Could pro-cycling messages like this help to make the case for cycling in the city where you live?

For more information on cycling in Utrecht, visit utrecht.nl/we-all-cycle/

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5 comments:

bicycledutch said...

I really like that Utrecht now publishes everything in English as well, but there are also all Dutch versions of everything you present here, the website and the videos. So this is also for the locals ;-) eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMj5-OQFpzE

ibikelondon said...

Thanks Mark! It is important things are done in the national language, but, at the risk of sounding rude, Dutch is a hard language for the rest of the world to master so it is really useful for us that these documents are also published in English. This is something that Utrecht (and also Groningen in fact) have over Amsterdam, who still publish their cycle policy in Dutch only...

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