Cycling Cities: The Hague Experience

As the Netherlands’ political and legal center, The Hague hosts a diverse cycling community, ranging from royals to civil servants. More than any other Dutch city, The Hague exemplifies the nation’s cycling story: everyone cycles to get around, commute, or tours the dunes on the North Sea coast. This richly illustrated book tells the fascinating cycling history of the Netherlands’ third city, when The Hague became part of a rapidly urbanizing region called Randstad. With many other towns at commuting distances, mobility thrived, including suburban commuting by bike. We see how The Hague—like many other cities—lost sight of cyclists in the post Second World War era of urban planning. Authorities sought to rebuild cities to accommodate motor traffic, even through city centers. Young architects, concerned cititzens, and cycling activists succeeded in halting these car oriented plans. In 1980 politicians agreed on a compromise that marked a turnaround in spatial policy. The New Urbanism ideas mean that livability—and public transit, pedestrians, and cyclists—are now center stage in The Hague’s urban development.
Eric Berkers, Frans Botma, and Ruth Oldenziel
Stichting Historie der Techniek