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Thursday, 25 March 2021
Intertraffic

New! Watch En Route to Success: Smart Mobility in Amsterdam

Get ready for the first Intertraffic documentary “En Route to Success”. This first episode we follow mobility experts in Amsterdam on their development journeys. How is Amsterdam mapping out its route to success?

Mobility is part of our basic needs. The continuous growth of the population and ongoing urbanization brings numerous challenges. Environment, congestion, safety and health are amongst our concerns. How does Amsterdam tackle these challenges?

With 800,000 inhabitants Amsterdam aims to become the number one smart mobility city of the world. But as Head of Innovations of City of Amsterdam, Tijs Roelofs explains, this does not come without a challenge.

‘Amsterdam is not built for cars.’

‘Amsterdam has more bicycles than people and it is not built for cars. Still 50% of the people who visit Amsterdam come by car. With a growing number of citizens, congestion in the city will only increase.’

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 the bicycle is seen as the hero of urban mobility. Did you know, the world counts 130 Bicycle Mayors? In Amsterdam Bicycle Mayor Katelijne Boerma explained: ‘People refer to Amsterdam as a bicycle heaven. And we are proud of that. However, as a wise and old city with an increasing popularity, we experience our own challenges. Of course we have our issues with regards to parking facilities. But the smartest mobility innovation is in your shed and that is the bicycle.’

 

Want to know how Amsterdam is mapping out its route to success?

Thijs-enroutetosucces

Watch the full documentary here.

‘The smartest mobility innovation is in your shed and that is the bicycle.’

As known for other cities the challenge is space. ‘We have 250,000 parking spots in Amsterdam and the coming years we plan to remove 10,000 of them in the inner city to create space,’ Tijs Roelofs explains. Space for cycling paths for instance, something that has been done since COVID-19 in other cities around the world. ‘We learn a lot from cities like Copenhagen, where they give smart incentives to change the behaviour. Half of the people is willing to get rid of their own car.’ And that was even before the Coronacrisis. Shared mobility can offer an important solution to our congestion and environmental challenges.

Something that is clear to initiator of e-neighbourhood Schoonschip. While enjoying a boat ride on Koninginnedag together with his friends Waldemar Torenstra came up with an idea. They decided to build a self-sufficient neighbourhood on the water. ‘Ten years later, we are here at Schoonschip,’ Waldemar says. His route to success was not a direct one. A bottom-up approach asks for patience with both the city council and the people. Schoonschip has a Smart Shared Green Mobility Hub where all neighbours share electric cars, bicycles and cargo-bicycles. But in exchange people had to get rid of their own car. ‘If I can say goodbye to my own private car feeling, then it might work for my neighbours as well.’

‘If I can say goodbye to my own private car feeling, it might work for others as well.’

Congestion is something we saw decrease due to lockdowns since the outbreak of the pandemic. We work from home, stay inside as much as possible and no longer visit events. A big impact for an organisation such as Johan Cruijff Arena. However, they seemed to have become smarter. If lockdown is lifted and society opens up again; Johan Cruijff Arena is ready for the triple A size events in the area with 100,000 + people coming and going in one day. Thanks to a data center and a Mobility Portal, the city and the organisation is able to manage crowd and traffic flows. ‘One of the challenges here is that we have to convince the users that we will not use their data in a commercial way. We use the data to improve their experience when they come to visit us next time.’

Watch and be inspired!

Do you want to know, see and listen more of this? Watch the full documentary here and let us know what you think!

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