About Thalia Verkade
Thalia Verkade lives in Rotterdam. She has been a staff writer and foreign correspondent for the Dutch national newspapers NRC Handelsblad and nrc.next. For the ad-free slow journalism platform De Correspondent she has written extensively about the topics she loves most: language, transport, and technocracy.
About Marco te Brömmelstroet
Marco te Brömmelstroet is the chair of Urban Mobility Futures at the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam. His teaching centres on the relationship between land use developments and mobility behaviour. As founding academic director of the Urban Cycling Institute he strengthens the links between academia and how cycling relates to the urban and social environment. Cycling offers him a lens to radically reimagine the way in which society thinks about mobility, transport systems, and the street. His ‘Fietsprofessor’ (The Cycling Professor) Twitter account has over 70,000 followers.
We take it for granted that the streets outside out homes are designed for movement from A to B, nothing more. But what happens if we radically rethink how we use these public spaces? Could we change our lives for the better?
Our dependence on cars is damaging our health — and the planet’s. The Dutch seem to have the right idea, with thousands of bike highways, but even then, what happens to pedestrians or people who want to cycle at a more leisurely pace? What about children playing outside their homes? Or wildlife, which enriches our local areas? Why do we prioritise traffic above all else?
Making our communities safer, cleaner, and greener starts with asking the fundamental questions: who do our streets belong to, what do we use them for, and who gets to decide?
Join journalist Thalia Verkade and urban mobility expert Marco te Brömmelstroet as they confront their own underlying beliefs and challenge us to rethink our way of life to put people at the centre of urban design. But be warned: you will never look at the street outside your front door in the same way again.
About Martin Booth
Martin Booth is the Editor of Bristol24/7 and the author of bestselling guidebook 111 Places in Bristol That You Shouldn’t Miss. When not writing or giving walking tours, he can usually be found cycling around town on his single speed.