Here comes our conversation when we met in Budapest, September 2012.
“I am here in Budapest because I was invited by the Embassy [the Dutch] and the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club to have a talk about the history of cycling the Netherlands and how it relates to Budapest and Hungary and how we can actually help. And it has been really interesting being here. I’ve been here before but now really in this capacity it’s very interesting.”
You mentioned marketing and communication yesterday. What do you think? Which departments at a municipality or local government need to cooperate or necessarily be involved…?
“Be involved? Well. Coming from the Netherlands and knowing history and knowing how it works now… You cannot do any marketing communication or promotion if it is not really there (all the stuff that’s needed). There are different things that are needed to make a city bicycle friendly, so in the Netherlands now after 30 years of developing most of it, it’s a combination of traffic and city planning. That’s what it is in the Netherlands. When it comes to physical changes it’s about redesigning streets. Rethinking how people move about in a city. Who could go into a city? Like big trucks or heavy traffic in general, there you need to divert traffic or redesign certain areas in the city. So where I come from there is the professional concerning traffic planning and urban planning joined together basically. It’s interactive! And based on that when actually it’s implemented it’s being promoted. Because we cannot promote cycling saying it’s a lovely thing to do when there’s no way that people can actually do it. Because that would be lying. So it’s basically a very practical cooperation between planning and promotion. So It’s all about everyday life. I told you that. We were speaking about that at the forum [on the day before] that promotion needs to be based on reality. Based on everyday life based on convenience and then we use a little humor we use, you know behavioral things like what people expect but what you actually tell them, there are different ways but there is never one thing! You can never have a silver bullet trying to change the city into a bike friendly city. There are different measures are needed. Co operations are needed. Partners are really needed. And everybody needs to be involved.”
Additionally, I need to mention Marc’s video what he did for the Dutch Cycling Embassy.