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Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality
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Building the Cycling City: The Dutch Blueprint for Urban Vitality

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In car-clogged urban areas across the world, the humble bicycle is enjoying a second life as a legitimate form of transportation. City officials are rediscovering it as a multi-pronged (or -spoked) solution to acute, 21st-century problems, including affordability, obesity, congestion, climate change, inequity, and social isolation. As the world’s foremost cycling nation, t ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published August 28th 2018 by Island Press
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4.16  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Hamdanil
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Book about success stories in building bike-friendly cities. Mostly about Dutch cities, but also from other places like New York and Vancouver. The book fawns over the Dutch a lot, using the metaphor "Dutch DNA" and repeatedly pointing out that they bike regularly without thinking about it. There are a lot of success stories in many Dutch cities: Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Eindhoven and more.

There are some interesting content, such as bike as vans as well as "avid biker" vs "regular person
...more
Nadia Aubin-Horth
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book uses examples from Dutch cities to describe how a city can be human-sized and livable by reallocating space given traditionally to cars towards other transportation modes, particularly walking and cycling. The book talks about the cycling city, and over and over we realize that this really means the human-scale city, and that the ultimate goal is to reduce car-centric infrastructures. The book is positive and exciting, but it is also realistic. Examples of success come with examples of ...more
Dave
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a terrible book to read before trying to sleep. Every chapter left me wanting to be a bike advocate, open a bike shop, ride my bike, or visit and see some of the bike architecture that was described.

This book forced me to re-think the utilitarian, including electric assist. It described a place I remember in the Netherlands and made me want to go back again (and again?) and appreciate all they've accomplished since I lived there quite some time ago.

I was delighted to better understand
...more
Austin
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was written by a married couple (the Bruntletts) who love the bicycle and wanted to learn how the Netherlands ended up being such a bike utopia. For anyone who has been to Amsterdam and wondered the same thing, or just the bike-curious (see what I did there?), this is a well-written and simultaneously fun and serious treatise.
I think the take away that will surprise people but makes perfect sense in context stems from the observation that the Dutch actually have two terms for cyclists
...more
Bart
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This excellent overview shows that the world-leading adoption of bikes as urban transport in The Netherlands is no overnight success, but rather the result of several decades of consistent policy by Dutch governments. Melissa and Chris Bruntlett also show that different Dutch cities faced very different challenges due to their distinct patterns of development. What makes the book so valuable to a wider audience is its many sections showing how lessons learned by the Dutch are now being applied i ...more
Cyrus Molavi
Apr 08, 2019 added it
Shelves: own
I think I've hit my saturation point for cycling books.

This was a pleasant, varied collection of stories that hit a niche about which I have plenty of curiosity. How do they think about cycling in the Netherlands? How might we apply some of that thinking in North America?

I'm not going to rate it though, because I think it's a lot better than how I felt while reading it: mostly that it would have resonated more completely with someone newer to these stories. I feel happy that this book exists b
...more
Pat
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cycling is the antidote to the car culture. The Dutch have made cycling a way of life from a young age and they have learned to incorporate cycling infrastructure into their cities. But it's not just the Dutch. Cities in New Zealand, Canada, and the U.S. are moving to include more human scale design elements into their spaces.

Cycling is healthier and non-polluting. There are even innovative options for cargo bikes.

Give the book a spin!
Fernando Fernandez
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting read, with a relevant topic treated in a very casual but informative style.

Crucially, you don't need to be an urban expert to feel engaged. The book lies halfway between scientific and casual reading, thankfully taking the positives of each.
Richard
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
As this is all but an academic paper it is a little dry at times but it puts forward a great argument that if other countries follow the Dutch example and reverse the car centric focus to urban planning and improve cycling infrastructure then both cities and society will benefit.
Barbara McVeigh
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Academic, but informative examination on how to rethink the infrastructure and design of our cities. It can be done!
Jerome Laviolette
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lu-2018
This is a great book, that truly shows how the Dutch became a bicycle nation. Beyond the flatness of their country, Melissa & Chris show us through their eyes and the eyes of key players in the Dutch cycling planning world, how to mainstream a bicycle culture. How to make the bicycle the most normal way to go around your daily travels.
Every chapter includes a section on how a North American city is implementing a Dutch best practice in city cycling planning.

As a Transportation Engineer, I'm
...more
Gus
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I mostly remember from this book: the car-centric urban way of living is not inevitable. Several cities have for the last 40 years realized that urban planning that focuses on people (bikes or pedestrians) make for a better quality of life. Activist groups in partnership with visionaries in elected offices in the several cities used as examples in this book (in Holland, as well Vancouver, Calgary, New York and Seattle) worked to reverse the onslaught of the automobile into their way of life ...more
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