Blog

Museumplein

Museumplein is the cultural heart of Amsterdam.  Its redesign in the 1990s has turned this space in a true urban “living room”, with many events and festivals now taking place here, along with lingering, relaxing, people-watching and sun-bathing.   The current situation resonates with Jan Gehl’s observation that “a good city is like a good party –
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Haarlemmerplein

At Haarlmeeerplein, traffic was choked and the additional space used to enlarge an existing square.  A weekly market now takes place here on Wednesdays, illustrating the range of functions streets can serve, not just for moving cars, but also as places for human exchange and interaction. Haarlemmerplein ca. 1970s (Amsterdam Archives) & 2015 (Thomas Schlijper)
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Plantage Middenlaan

Plantage Middenlaan illustrates one of the most dramatic street redesigns in Amsterdam in recent years. The current situation is the result of several iterations that incrementally took space from cars and reallocated it to pedestrians and cyclists, until cars were banned completely.  The change from asphalt to grass also helps capture storm water – an
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Livable Cities Campaign

Some of the most harmful problems that cities face today are the result of car-centric development leading to chronic congestion, local pollution, and loss of public space with negative effects on economic development and citizens’ quality of life. Sustainable Amsterdam is about sharing the innovations that make Amsterdam a livable city and learning from others
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SmartR City Tour

There’s much talk about “smart cities” these days, and many people think that technology lies at the center of these discussions.  But what makes your smart phone smart is not the technology per se, but the way its applications make your life more easy, productive, and fun.  In the same way, smart city claims should
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Interview with We Are Paris

In the lead-up to the UN Climate Conference in Paris, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel launched the We Are Paris platform to engage students, employees, alumni, stakeholders and partners to contribute to the debate about the future of our planet.  The key goals of this initiative are to cultivate sudents into conscious citizens that actively contribute to a more sustainable environment
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Learning from Amsterdam on how to build people and bike-friendly cities

Fast Company recently featured my master’s research on how Amsterdam became a biker’s paradise and why other cities can do the same: These Historical Photos Show How Amsterdam Turned Itself Into A Bike Rider’s Paradise The author found me when my professor Marco te Brommelstroet (aka, @FietsProfessor) tweeted one of my historic-contemporary photo pairs — views of Amsterdam’s Harlemmerdijk — and the tweet
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Amsterdam’s South Axis Green Route

October 9 was the Dutch Sustainability Day, and a perfect occasion to explore sustainability initiatives in Amsterdam’s South Axis – the city’s financial district.   This area is home to economic and educational institutions such as the World Trade Center (WTC) and Amsterdam’s VU University.  Anchored by Amsterdam’s second largest train station, the district is undergoing
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Conscious Hotels

As the number of people traveling continues to grow, so do the impacts from the tourism sector.  In fact, tourism now represents one of fastest growing source of greenhouses emissions worldwide.  Luckily, the number of people who want to make their travels and holidays more sustainable is also increasing. Whether at home or on holidays,
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InStock: Tackling Food Waste

Sustainable development is fundamentally about efficient management of resources.   When it comes to food, the Netherlands wastes about a third of this important resource at different stages of production, processing, retailing and consumption. Among the most important players in tackling food waste are supermarkets and businesses.  A combination of superficial and draconian regulations governing
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