How Children Demanding Play Streets Changed Amsterdam

The above video, excerpted from a Dutch television documentary series, shows how children helped catalyze the fight for safe streets in Amsterdam more than a generation ago.

The documentary examines the conditions in a dense urban neighborhood called De Pijp, from the perspective of local children. In the film, neighborhood kids energetically advocate for a play street, free of cars.

Bicycle Dutch recently shortened the episode and added English subtitles. The documentary originally aired in 1972. That very same year, several play streets were installed in the city. In the 1970s, traffic fatality rates in the Netherlands were 20 percent higher than in the United States, but thanks to grassroots efforts like the play street campaign in De Pijp and the “Stop de Kindermoord” movement (“Kindermoord” translates to “child murder”), the Dutch changed their approach to street design. Today the traffic fatality rate in the Netherlands is 60 percent lower than in the U.S. — 22,000 fewer Americans would die each year if we had kept pace with the Dutch.

Here’s a look at one of those play streets in De Pijp today — a stark contrast from the streets pictured in the video:

Source: ##http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/amsterdam-children-fighting-cars-in-1972/## Bicycle Dutch##
Source: ##http://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/amsterdam-children-fighting-cars-in-1972/##Bicycle Dutch##

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Tonight: See the Blueprint for a New Upper West Side

|
Streets designed for safe, accessible, and equitable use. That is the vision of the "Blueprint for the Upper West Side: A Roadmap for Truly Livable Streets," to be unveiled tonight by the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign. The product of one year of community-driven planning, in consultation with urbanist legends Jan Gehl and Donald […]

RSVP Today to Re-Imagine Manhattan’s Upper West Side

|
Help shape the neighborhood streets of the Upper West Side. Work with your neighbors to create beautiful, green streets with safer bike lanes, great walking spaces, less traffic and cleaner air. The Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign is holding a series of events aimed at empowering residents to re-imagine neighborhood streets and make their […]

Envisioning an Upper West Side Streets Renaissance

|
If you’re thinking about coming to tonight’s Upper West Side workshop with Jan Gehl but you are having trouble picturing what a "Streets Renaissance" might look like, the video above was made for you. It consists of a series of photo simulations produced by New York City Streets Renaissance Creative Director Carly Clark. Whipped into […]