Yarra can learn from Amsterdam

We the people have the choice to change our cities. Many cities in Europe offer safe and attractive streets, with jobs, shops and schools all accessible by walking, cycling and public transport. Melbourne can do this too. The only barrier is failing to understand how easy it is to achieve.

Amsterdam wasn’t always Amsterdam

Amsterdam wasn’t always the way it is now. After the 2nd world war, Amsterdam was dominated by cars, and the authorities were telling people to get off the road.

In the 1970’s people in Amsterdam began to demand better conditions, leading to the first Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and 30 km/h zones:

Before/after photos of how Amsterdam has changed

Residents and ratepayers in Amsterdam decided that they wanted a city that worked better for people walking, cycling and using public transport, so demanded change. Before / after photos showing how Amsterdam has changed are available at Sustainable Amsterdam and Streetsblog.

Streets in the Netherlands

This twitter thread has a lovely collection of photos of streets in the Netherlands:

Image source: Twitter.

Melbourne can do this too

Amsterdam is part of the Randstad megalopolis of 8.2 million people, covering a larger area than greater Melbourne, and including Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague. The Randstad area is covered with walking, cycling and public transport networks, showing that large dispersed cities like Melbourne can do this too. Learn more at Regio Randstad, or at a UK example, Greater Manchester.

The Randstad compared with greater Melbourne, with the same 50 km scale. Image credits: Wikipedia and Google Maps
Cross-commuting in the polycentric Randstad. Source: Werff et al 2005

How you can help

You can help by appearing on the Streets Alive Yarra website as a champion for your local street, neighbourhood, or school.

Let’s build a beautiful, liveable and accessible city