The A15 motorway south of Rotterdam is not a nice road to cross if you are a pedestrian or cyclist. Eight lanes of terrifying motorized menace are bordered by a double railway on one side and another road on the other.
To help you escape the city without having to play a game of human Frogger, this bridge, which appears to have come straight from the set of a science fiction film, was built earlier this month. All 190 metres of it connect the city of Rotterdam to the nature preserve of Rhoon.
The bridge, called ‘De Groene Verbinding’ (‘The Green Connection’) was designed by Marc Verheijen, an architect employed by the public works department of Rotterdam. If you want more photos and information, Mark Wagenbuur has an extensive write-up including pictures and videos.
The photo above comes from the Province of South Holland who have also dedicated a page to the bridge.
Tags: bridges, cities, nature preserves, Rhoon, Rotterdam
A list by Copenhagenize Consulting puts Amsterdam straight at the top of 80 major cities world-wide as the most bike-friendly place to be.
The city scored high in almost every of the thirteen categories that the candidates were judged on: “The cycling atmosphere is relaxed, enjoyable, and as mainstream as you can get. This is the one place on the planet where fear-mongering about cycling is non-existent and it shows.”
Numbers two and three were Copenhagen and Barcelona, Montreal came in eighth as the best of the Americas.
Copenhagenize Consulting is run by Mikael Colville-Andersen who started the Copenhagenize blog—extolling the virtues of bicycling—after he had noticed that an ordinary photo of an ordinary woman riding an ordinary bike could draw an extraordinary response from a global audience. There but for the grace of god was the world spared the term Assenize. (Disclaimer: I am not dissing David Hembrow, just mocking the phrase.)
(Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)
Tags: cities, Copenhagen, Montreal
Amsterdam’s city hall scored a major victory in the War on Fun today when Unesco added the city’s historical centre to its World Heritage list.
The appointment fits right into the city government’s fantasies of turning the city into Anton Pieck‘s wet dream. A group critical of—and therefore silenced by—the municipality, pointed to the damning example of staid Bruges in Belgium earlier.
Publicist Rogier van Kralingen told Radio Netherlands: “People don’t visit Amsterdam just because it gives them a flavour of the past, but because it has a strong spirit of freedom. The city has an open-hearted, liberal feel to it. If a city wants to create a good environment for its residents and international businesses – which, let’s face it, will have to provide most of our income – you need to maintain a healthy balance between tourism, recreation and people’s freedom to do what they want.”
It’s not like the city and borough councils needed more ammunition: here’s a list of things they have already outlawed. And what’s keeping the Robert-Jasper Grootveld statue?
The Unesco decision makes downtown Amsterdam the seventh World Heritage site in the kingdom.
(Photo by Colleen Taugher, some rights reserved)
Tags: Amsterdam, canals, cities, conservatism, UNESCO, War on Fun
A quirky little idea by DUS Architects: put a 3 x 3 metre box next to the Amsterdam public library, line its inside with mirrors, and put a tree in the middle.
The Urban Woods pavilion is part of the Liefde in de stad (Love in the city) art project about which we wrote earlier. You can visit the forest (a short walk from Central Station) until June 27.
(Link: Bright. Photo: DUS Architecten / Pieter Kers.)
Tags: cities, forests, love, mirrors, trees
Do you need an embroidered handkerchief, but you lack a grandmother with a taste for needle craft? Fear not, smartlapjes.nl employs needle-wielding grandmothers with lots of spare time who will embroider a phrase of your choice onto a handkerchief for only 10 euro.
The delivery time of any given ‘smartlapje’ is ‘when it is ready.’
According to Bright, the site is a part of the Liefde in de Stad (Love in the City) art project.
(Image: a screenshot of smartlapjes.nl)
Tags: cities, craft, embroidery, grandmothers, love, needles, web 2.0
With 16 million people occupying a mere 14,526 square kilometres, the Netherlands is considered a densely populated country. For world-famous architect Rem Koolhaas that isn’t dense enough though. He imagined what the country would look like if the Dutch population density was that of Manhattan (shown here) or Los Angeles.
Strange maps doesn’t seem to mention where they got these images.
(Link tip: Tom Schuring. Image edited by me.)
Tags: cities, demographics, density, Los Angeles, maps, New York, population, USA
There are some beautiful images of this fantasy city, a 2007 personal project of visualizer Jesse van Dijk, at the artist’s portfolio. Van Dijk writes about this wondrous city where daylight is something only the rich can afford:
My principle idea for this city came down to a (somewhat) harmonious society with huge differences in standards of living. Because flat ground is so expensive, only the super-rich can afford to live on top of the pillar, where the climate is nice and sun-hours are plentiful.
As one descends into the pit, the hours the houses are exposed to direct sunlight daily decrease, making house prices lower, which is why the poorest groups of society live at the bottom of the pit. However, people are not neccessarily unhappy at the bottom, there are still children playing in the water, etc. While there is crime (and more of it in the poorer/lower districts) it’s a time of peace, not war.
Tags: cities, city planning, geofiction, volcanoes
You can say many bad things about Amsterdam’s city marketing campaign I AmSterdam, but at least in some respect it works. A mix of the phrase “I am Amsterdam” and “I heart Amsterdam,” the slogan lets people express their positive feelings towards the city in a tacky but unified manner.
Madrid tries to copy the formula, and copies everything that is wrong about the I AmSterdam campaign. It is tacky. You cannot force a meaningful emotional response with a cold marketing campaign. The formula replaces core values—the reasons why people like Amsterdam or Madrid—with empty slogans. And in doing so, the campaigns are insulting to their audiences’ intelligence.
But Madrid’s copy takes things one step further: it just doesn’t work. “Madrid about you” is a funny pun, but the way the logo is styled makes it say: “Madrid equals mad” (the “about you” is de-emphazised by shoving it to the bottom and printing it in a smaller font.) Critical Spanish designer Rafa Celda says in El Pais that the people who came up with this campaign are trying too hard. “This is like one of those logos that comes with a manual.”
Via Nieuws uit Amsterdam (Dutch). Photo by Matt Rubens, distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 license.
Tags: Amsterdam, cities, logos, Madrid, marketing, slogans