This past summer, 13 students studied the infrastructure, policies and cultural perceptions that created the bicycling heaven that is the Netherlands. Our diverse group included students from the University of Oregon, Portland State University and the University of Denver.
Leading students in this field seminar was professor Marc Schlossberg of the Planning, Public Policy and Management department at the University of Oregon. He helped us explore how and why bicycling has become a mainstream mode of transportation in the Netherlands, and challenged us to use this experience to inspire similar changes in the United States.
Accepting this challenge to make our communities more bike friendly, the students returned and hosted a photography exhibit called “If we build it,” in which we shared our experience through images. The exhibit sparked conversations and a community dialogue between city planners, academics and citizens about how we make communities more bikeable.
Schlossberg’s course will be offered again in summer 2012 and is accepting applications.
Rithy, Briana and Theodore were all students at the University of Oregon during the field seminar in the Netherlands. Rithy is a graduate student in planning, Briana recently graduated with a degree in environmental studies and planning and Theodore is almost done with his undergraduate degree in planning. Each of them is dedicated to making the bicycle a common everyday convenient form of transportation.