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Blog Post 6: Houten (the world did they do it? )

Houten:  A quick history..

Houten was lucky enough to take a stab at “city making” from a blank slate. As a native engineer, but newfound planner, I have learned that we can no longer plan new cities from scratch in the United States since we are constrained to the existing street and utility network that was formed when cities first originated. Houten has the advantage of conception during the time of the new town movement, which was prevalent throughout England in the 1960’s....

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Houten: Andre Loves It

Dutch Truman Show?

I’m not sure how I would describe Houten to a person that has never been. I would hope that they had seen The Truman Show, because that’s really the best way I could help someone understand it. Houten seems almost to good to be true; too perfectly designed to be real. It is a case study in what can happen with excellent, well-thought out planning. As in, if a bunch of planners got together to start from scratch on a city, Houten is what they would make.

We got to listen to a really prominent and experienced Dutch...

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Blog Post 5: Houten

Houten Bike Network

Houten is a town in the Netherlands near Utrecht and is known as one of the top bicycle towns in the world (in 2008 and 2018). In Houten, residents (and guests) are encouraged to travel by bike because of the accessibility of the railway station, green park zones, and an extensive network of cycling paths where cars and cyclists are able to avoid each other. A loop runs around the city to connect cars and houses but a more extensive, faster, and internal network connects bikes. The network is so simple and...

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Blog Post 6: Houten City Planning

Houten is unique in that it was mostly planned anew when it was decided that a small village would become a small city. Planners had the opportunity to design a city essentially from scratch and used that as a chance to create something new. The main goal of planners was to make a livable city, including all aspects of life into their equations. With a rising concern of the negative effects of car traffic (such as pollution, safety, and air quality), Houten decided to prioritize cycling in its city layout. It was purposefully designed to make it more convenient to travel by bicycle than by...

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BP#6: Houten Transportation Network Design

 

Houten’s Approach to Transportation Network Design

Houten went through an extensive planning period soon after it started growing as a city. This time was critical to allow for planers to make radical changes to city development that are safe for children to travel by bike and that intensively incentivizes cycling as the mode of travel.

Houten is designed with two major ring roads on the outside of the city that connect in the center. Figure 1 and 2 display the northern and southern half of the city divided by two major ring roads. Houten...

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Houten City Planning

Houten planned their transportation and overall city design based on keeping their children and citizens safe. As Andre Botermans, our Houten lecturer, said today, “cars are enemies of human beings.” He meant this in that when vehicles hit a person, it doesn't tend to end well for the person  To maintain this goal of safety, Houten has limited vehicular traffic within the city and encouraged biking and walking to destinations. Houten considers itself less of a biking town and more of a “slow traffic” town. To...

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Blog Post #6: Houten's City Planning

City Design: The Houten Approach

When the Dutch government began to think of ways to develop the then-tiny village of Houten in the late 60’s, they had one main goal in mind: to make it a livable city. In order to achieve livability, they determined that the amount of car usage within the city must be limited. This concept is the backbone of how Houten became what it is today.

While the planner wanted to limit car usage in the city, they couldn’t ban vehicles completely, as people still use cars for inter-city travel. Therefore, they created a...

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