Arjen Jaarsma is a consultant in sustainable mobility with Balancia in Amsterdam.

He talked little about bicycling. This is all he said about it before he moved on to talk about making cities sustainable:

  • Electric bicycles go up to 25km/h
  • “You’ll notice that helmets are not worn – cycling is normal and safe”
  • In the Netherlands, for vehicles that travel 25-40km/h, riders must wear helmets

We’re in the age of sustainability – the current generation of young people is more likely to read their news online, travel by train instead of plane.

Arjen has an interest in the low carbon city with net zero emissions (emissions are compensated within the city’s own boundaries).

He believes that living with no collisions [sometimes called "vision zero"] and without traffic congestion is possible.

Amsterdam has many strategies in play that will help it become a low carbon city: use of solar power, bicycling, and rising popularity of electric vehicles.

Also of note is Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco City and Masdar City.

Arjen forecasts: In 2090, 90% of people will live in low-carbon city.


Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Photo by 350.org climate campaign.