Nobody knows more about bicycles than the Dutch, but Israelis will have a chance to glean some design and urban planning wisdom from the waterlogged nation next week at the “Going Dutch” conference established by their Prime Minister and (the much more fit) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
If you love bicycles, then you will definitely want to be in Tel Aviv and Holon on the 19th and 20th of March, 2014.
Not only will you be able to attend an international conference that will allow the public to debate urban planning and cycling culture with both Dutch and Israeli experts, the Holon Design Museum is also holding an interactive bicycle exhibition entitled Free Wheel, where more than 100 historic bicycles will be on display.
The exhibition covers four themes of Israel’s unique cycling culture, namely time, content, technology and design – from 1940s onwards. Michael Embacher’s special collection of 43 iconic bicycles will also be on display, a real treat for design aficionados.
At the conference, which will kick off at the museum on 19 March, 2014, Tom Godefrooij and Angela van der Kloof from the ‘Dutch Cycling Embassy’ will discuss the experience of Dutch cyclists who travel on two wheels year round, regardless of the weather.
In addition to extolling the health benefits of cycling, the pair will discuss the finer details of urban planning and traffic behavior.
Israel’s Ministry of Tourism is hosting an award ceremony for the best design of bicycle parking stands in public spaces. The finalists will present their designs and ideas – all to increase cycling participation among an already growing cycling community in Israel’s “hippest” city.
“Creative people ride bicycles,” says Dutch Ambassador Casper Veldkamp.
“They do so in Amsterdam; they do so in Tel Aviv. I have understood that Albert Einstein got some of his best ideas while cycling. Innovative thinking and riding a bicycle go together. Let’s unite forces and exchange ideas on the use of bicycles in today’s innovative cities. ‘Going Dutch’ together on the Israeli biking path seems like a natural thing to do.”
And if none of this sounds appealing, perhaps the bicycle film festival or bicycle school will interest you? Roll up on your favorite wheels and be a part of Tel Aviv’s evolution into a cleaner, safer city.
Image of PM Mark Rutte cycling on Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv by Assaf Shilo/Israel