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Blog Post #6: The Plan for Houten

What is Houten?

Houten, a city in the Netherlands, has a unique approach to transportation – even for a Dutch city. On Wednesday, the class rode a train out to the city, arriving around 10:30 am. Andre Botermans, a Houten City Planner and International Cycling Ambassador, gave the group a lecture providing background and information on the city.

With roots as a small village of about 3,000, it was not until the 1960s that planners began to...

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Blog Post #6: Houten and Sustainable Transportation

Welcome to Houten

We spent day 5 of our trip in the town of Houten, located in the Utrecht province. Houten is renowned for its sustainable transportation policies that support cycling and walking over the use of automobiles; as the city expanded in the 1970s, the key focus was to make a more livable and safe city. This was achieved by approaching design and planning with a car free structure, and adding public space like greenery, schools, and water. In the city of Houten, bicycles never have to stop for cars....

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Houten Highlights

Transportation in Houten

In the 1970s, Houten, like many other cities in the Netherlands, transformed its streets to incorporate protected bicycle infrastructure. However, Houten went a step further in its designs by creating a unique inner core that is completely bike-oriented. Although this was not the original goal for the community, instead it was proposed as a “Livable City” that was centered around the idea to create a pleasant and safe atmosphere for its residents. Therefore, cars were taken out of the equation, which left biking and walking as the main forms of...

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Blog Post #6: The Ins and Outs of Houten

By Laura Kelly

3-20-19

What is Houten?

Houten offered a new picture compared to what we saw in Delft. For the past few days, we have been able to navigate our way around the historic Delft and interact with varying infrastructure that provides a seamless way around town. In Houten, a city in Utrecht curated to be a “liveable city,” was designed with a very specific image in mind. As Andre Botermans said, Houten is intended to not...

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Blog Post #6: The Houten Experience

The Houten Experience!

Houten is an extremely great example of the potential of city planning and how to build a mid-urban suburban development straight from the beginning of design ideation. With the integrated planning approach, the Houten municipality decided to create a transportation system that truly protected the most vulnerable user and insured that the biking and pedestrian infrastructure was not only adequate but also robust. This resulted in a city center and a vast majority of Houten to prohibit the use of cars and encourage the small trips...

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Post #6: Houten Transportation Network Design

The Transportation Network of Houten

        Houten is an idealistic city created in an almost perfect circumstance. The ring road around the perimeter encloses a town full of happy children, safe streets, and proud residents. Andre Botermans, a city planner who works and lives in Houten, gleamed about the town's achievements and accolades for their system of cycling infrastructure. Most routes within the ring are free from vehicular traffic, and so cyclists and pedestrians can safely travel without having to...

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The Netherlands: Initial Assessment

Initial Thoughts

Dr. Watkins said it best: “the only stressful thing for Dutch cyclists is dealing with new American cyclists on their paths.” From our first cycling tours around the city of Delft, it is clear that the Dutch have fine-tuned the best practices for safe street designs. Their bicycle infrastructure is safe because it is continuous, recognizable, and intuitive for all users. The cycle paths are also impressive because they are well connected throughout the entire city. All across the city, the streets were designed to accommodate all modes of...

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