Programs by Country: Netherlands + Dialogue of Civilizations


NETHERLANDS: Sustainable Urban Transportation

Dialogue of Civilizations | Delft, Netherlands

Faculty Leader: Prof. Peter Furth (p.furth@neu.edu)

Study Abroad Coordinator: Colleen Boyle (c.boyle@neu.edu)

Information Session: TBA

Term: Summer II

NOTE: The courses for this program are still pending approval.

Courses (Pending Approval): 

  • CIVE 4566 Design for Sustainable Urban Transportation: European Perspectives (4 credits)
  • CIVE 4567 Planning and Policy for Sustainable Urban Transportation (4 credits)

Descriptions:

While the Netherlands is as affluent a country as the US, the Dutch drive cars half as much as Americans, ride trains 10 times as much, and ride bikes 40 times as much. They also have the world’s best traffic safety record, with a traffic fatality rate 67% lower than ours. Dutch bicycling infrastructure makes it safe for everyone – children and elderly as well – to ride bikes anywhere, and is a major reason that more than 25% of trip nationwide, and more than 40% in cities like Delft and Amsterdam, are made by bike. The goal of this program is learn Dutch principles for planning cities and for designing bikeways, roads, and transit networks that make ABC (all-but-car) transportation so attractive, and that make cities livable and safe.

The dialogue takes place in historic Delft, with classes held at Delft University. Students will ride bicycles daily for commuting and for field trips. About 1/3 of the time will be spent in classrooms, 1/3 on field trips, and 1/3 working on projects. Lecture speakers include experts and local officials responsible for urban planning, bikeway design, and transit planning. Field trips, made using bicycles and trams, enable students to see good examples of urban planning, bicycling infrastructure, and high quality transit, and often involve meetings with city officials. Field trips to more distant cities (e.g., Amsterdam)  involve train travel as well. Students will write blogs and papers documenting Dutch practices and examples, and will also do design projects, applying Dutch principles and practices to redesigning a Boston-area street or area. To see projects completed in 2011 and 2012, see http://wiki.coe.neu.edu/groups/nl2011transpo/

Students must be able to ride a bike, and be fit enough to ride for several hours at a relaxed pace. Students of all majors are welcome. Civil Engineering students will get credit for one Technical Elective.