When I Grow Up, I Want To Be Like Groningen

A couple of my college friends came through Boston recently for a conference. I hadn’t seen them since my undergrad years in Florida, and they’re now professors at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.  Groningen, the Netherlands, is a city that has been dubbed “The World Cycling City,” where 57% of in-city trips are made by bicycles.  I enjoyed getting their perspectives on urban design and cycling culture.

As their unofficial guide to the city for a day, I chose to take us by foot from their rental studio in Beacon Hill to Porter Square on this path So we’ll have a chance to catch up. The walk also gave me a chance to show off the Smoots, the various squares in Cambridge, and to grab lunch at Mary Chung’s (very good Suan La Chow Show, very bad website).


  1. David Hembrow Said,

    December 1, 2009 @ 2:13 pm

    Groningen is everything your friends said it was. We liked it so much that we moved here. Well, not actually to Groningen, but Assen a few km south. There are no students in Assen (40000 of them in Groningen) so the cycling rate is a bit lower – 41% of journeys are by bike here. I write a blog here from the perspective of someone who moved from the UK, where only 1% of journeys are by bike.

  2. yourstruly Said,

    December 1, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

    Neat! European bicycle-friendly cities are so inspiring: I really hope we’ll figure things out in the States and move toward that kind of urban-living within my lifetime. It’s unfortunate that the majority of us are still completely subscribed to the car culture. To be fair, most of the civil engineering was made to supports cars… but I’m hopeful for Cambridge/Boston.

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