Quito: mountains, history & a giant conference about cities

In October 2016, 40000 people gathered in Quito, Ecuador, for the United Nations Habitat III Conference. Unlike other UN processes that focus on national government engagement, “H3” also saw 5000 city leaders make their voices heard, meeting in Quito and Bogotá (Colombia) at related local government events. They did so to ensure the final document adopted, the… Read More Quito: mountains, history & a giant conference about cities

Reflections on Seattle’s #BlackLivesMatter Protest: How can we come together?

I’m often silent on #BlackLivesMatter. It’s not to say I don’t care; I care deeply. But what can I offer more than solidarity in sadness of lives unnecessarily lost? Then, on my bus ride home in Seattle last night, I stumbled upon a #BlackLivesMatter protest, in light of the recent tragic killings of Philando Castile, of Alton Sterling,… Read More Reflections on Seattle’s #BlackLivesMatter Protest: How can we come together?

Budapest cool: history and hipsters join forces, resulting in one fantastic, evolving city

In 2005 I moved to Budapest, to study in the Masters of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (MESPOM) programme at Central European University (CEU). More than 10 years on, MESPOM was one of the best decisions of my life. Studying with 50 students from 35+ countries meant that every lecture followed in international reflection. I… Read More Budapest cool: history and hipsters join forces, resulting in one fantastic, evolving city

How many objects, people, pets… can one Dutch cyclist carry on 2 wheels?

The Dutch are fantastic at making fun of their quirky cycle culture, while simultaneously marketing this cycle-centric city planning model as the preferred option for countless (non-Dutch) cities to follow. I have to agree: with a central focus on city cycling for transportation, together with the consequent bicycle lifestyle that emerges with it, it is  the envy of many cities… I love this 2-part… Read More How many objects, people, pets… can one Dutch cyclist carry on 2 wheels?

Forging the path: cyclists light up their own lanes

I’ve been a bit spoiled over the last years, calling European cities like Budapest, Lund, Malmö and Amsterdam as home. All of these cities have amazing bike lanes, segregated from oncoming vehicular traffic, making cycling the preferred option. While I’m happy that my home city of Seattle is following suit in some parts of the city,… Read More Forging the path: cyclists light up their own lanes

Amsterdam & Utrecht: beautiful bicycle parking

Amsterdam is running short on bike parking, despite efforts to continuously expand it, creating a ‘problem’ that few city planners could dream of. This cycling mecca has too many rush hour commuters clogging up its bike lanes, and not enough bike parking once they hop off.  To tackle Amsterdam’s bike parking challenge, the city uses old shipping barges turned floating cycle-parking garages, builds underground two-tiered parking at… Read More Amsterdam & Utrecht: beautiful bicycle parking