Utrecht, Netherlands

Utrecht, the fourth largest Dutch city, is famous for its picturesque canals and its well-developed cycling infrastructure, such as a three-storey bicycle parking space below the Utrecht Centraal station, able to store 12,656 bikes - the world’s largest bike parking at the time of its completion.

Utrecht's REALLOCATE twin city: Heidelberg

LAB - Safety-proofing schools in vulnerable neighbourhoods

Not all Utrecht neighbourhoods have developed in a cycling-friendly, way; many were built in the 1960s with wide streets all for cars and parking space, and little accessibility to greenery. This pilot addresses this challenge by targeting two unsafe school areas in poorer neighbourhoods, to be selected based on VVN surveys, reports of Utrecht municipality and traffic accident concentrations.

The pilot aims to improve safety around the selected schools, promote active mobility, improve air quality and reduce noise pollution. These goals will be achieved by the following interventions:

  • Setting a baseline with input from street users collected from interviews with parents, walks with children and recording of children’s bike rides
  • Engagement with schools to collect data on accidents, conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and e-scooters
  • Participation and co-design with schools, parents and children (e.g. using VR technology or 3D digital boards for children) to solve bottlenecks on school routes and test user interactions
  • Cyclist and e-scooter behaviour prediction and simulation by customising 3D applications based on gaming technology
  • The use of 2D & 3D technology for visualisations and simulation, including a Digital Twin (DT), and electronic projections
  • Experimenting with infrastructural adaptations (e.g. reduced parking space, speed limit decrease to 30km/h, nature-based solutions
  • Large-scale interventions, at first simulated in DT and then envisioned in 3D
  • Behavioural measures (e.g. training, using crossing guards, 'velo-theque' as flexible and affordable e-bike / cargo-bike sharing on a needs basis).
European Union

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under grant agreement No. 101103924. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

Mission Cities

REALLOCATE is a project under the CIVITAS Initiative, an EU-funded programme working to make sustainable and smart mobility a reality for all, and contributes to the goals of the EU Mission Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.