Study Tour
Transport innovation
in the Netherlands

Applications for 2019 Study Tour now open

23rd June – 29th June, 2019


We have developed an immersive study tour for transport and land use planners interested in translating Dutch transport innovation into their local context.

A curated week of field trips and engaging lectures showcases the successes (and occasional failures) that have made the Netherlands a hotbed of transport innovation.

Dutch transport is about more than just the bicycle 

Our study tours look at the Dutch transport and land use system as a whole, with a focus on lessons that can be translated into the other, more car dependant contexts. Whilst it is impossible to ignore cycling in the Netherlands, our study tours take a broader view, encompassing the full set of transport options in the Netherlands.


3 Highlights

  1. Take a tour through recent streetscape enhancement projects on key Amsterdam streets – led by their head designer. Hear how these projects have improved active and public transport, as well as retail vitality.

  2. Visit the HQ of one of the world’s most innovative rail operators. Learn about network development, innovations for optimising the user experience, managing peak demand, the future of ticketing pricing and technology.

  3. Sustainable transport integration in Greenfield sites – take a bike tour through innovative new suburbs.


Dutch planning history, policy and practice

Understand the factors that have played a pivotal role over the centuries to form the transport and land use practices evident in Dutch cities today.

Transport and land use integration

Gain insights into how the planning system works to encourage mixed use development, integrated with multi-modal transport options.

Motorway demand management

Learn how the Dutch manage the densest network of motorways in Europe, and what challenges and opportunities they are preparing for to manage demand and lessons for other countries

The future of paying for car use

Examining options for using price signals in car parking and roadway use ($/km) to achieve strategic transport outcomes, and wider city objectives.

Bicycle network design principles and practice

Learn from leading Dutch experts in bicycle planning to discover the elements that help make the Netherlands the bicycle capital of the world.

Electric vehicles

Showcasing Dutch policies and practice for boosting adoption of plug in electric vehicles and implications for other countries.

Innovations in car park policy

Understand how the Dutch have used parking policy as part of a wider objective to enhance the productivity and vibrancy of their cities and towns.

Public transport in the Netherlands

Learn from Dutch railway operators on enhancing the user experience, managing peak loading challenges and Dutch plans for enhancing the rail experience in the future.

Innovations in shopping street design

Practitioner led tours of Dutch streets that have benefited from dramatic re-designs to maximise productivity, vibrancy, safety and sustainability.

Re-thinking the residential street

Re-imagine the function and design of the residential street through expert led walk throughs of some great examples of innovative residential streets that balance accessibility with liveability.

Innovations in shared mobility

The Dutch have been leaders in shared transport well before it became a hot topic. Gain insights into the latest trends in shared mobility and the implications for the future of travel.

Integration of cycling and public transport

Up to 70% of train journeys in the Netherlands start with a bike trip. Learn from the undisputed leaders in integrating cycling with public transport.

Policy failure

Not all Dutch transport initiatives go to plan. Learn from experts on what has not worked, and why, in order to avoid future mistakes.


Professor Bert van Wee

Professor Bert van Wee

Delft University of Technology

Bert van Wee is Professor of Transport Policy and is well known in the Netherlands as one of the most respected authorities on transport and land use planning. He regularly advises Ministers and local government politicians on transport issues and it is his depth of knowledge in Dutch transport planning that makes Bert such an important speaker for this study tour.
Ruwan Aluvihare

Ruwan Aluvihare

Landscape Architect, City of Amsterdam

Ruwan is one of the leading urban landscape architects in the Netherlands. As the Chief Urban Designer/Landscape Architect for the City of Amsterdam, Ruwan has been instrumental in the redevelopment of landmark streets in Amsterdam.
Erik Verroen

Erik Verroen

Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

Erik Verroen is the Principal Advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Transport and Water (Rijkswaterstaat) working on network development and transport modelling. He operates as a strategy advisor and knowledge manager, focusing on the present and future needs of the Dutch transport system (passenger and freight)
Professor Erik Verhoef

Professor Erik Verhoef

Free University of Amsterdam

Erik Verhoef is a full professor in Spatial Economics at VU Amsterdam, and a research fellow of the Tinbergen Institute. Currently Head of Department of Spatial Economics, Erik’s research focuses on how pricing signals can be used to encourage more efficient and equitable behaviour in cities.
Dr Elliot Fishman

Dr Elliot Fishman

Director, Transport Innovation, Institute for Sensible Transport

Dr Fishman is a widely recognised authority on strategic transport innovation in Australia. He has advised the Prime Minister’s Office on sustainable mobility policy, the NYC Department of Transportation and Transport for London.
Herbert Tiemens

Herbert Tiemens

Province of Utrecht Transport Planner and Dutch Cycling Embassy

Herbert has worked has almost two decades of experience as an urban planner across different levels of Dutch government, with a particular focus on sustainable mobility. He has led many international delegations.
Hillie Talens

Hillie Talens

CROW (technical advisor to local governments on transport)

Hillie Talens is a leading transport engineer with over 30 years of experience in both public and private sector. Ms Talens career has focused on improving the role of the bicycle in the transport system, parking policies and the optimization of the use of parking facilities
Dr Marco te Brommelstroet

Dr Marco te Brommelstroet

University of Amsterdam

Marco is Associate Professor in Urban Planning at the University of Amsterdam. He is the founding academic director of the Urban Cycling Institute. He has set up numerous teaching and research projects around the relations between cycling and the way our cities and societies are shaped.
Lizet Krabbenborg

Lizet Krabbenborg

Delft University of Technology

Lizet is PhD researcher in Transport Policy at the Delft University of Technology. Her PhD is about stakeholders’ acceptability of smart road pricing measures.
Mark Wagenbuur

Mark Wagenbuur

Dutch transport commentator

Mark Wagenbuur is recognised as one of the most insightful commentators on Dutch transport innovation, with a particular interest in how streets can be adapted to encourage sustainable transport use.
Koen van Waes

Koen van Waes

Senior Sustainable Mobility Specialist, City of Tilburg

Koen brings substantial experience in sustainable mobility and transport integration at the local government level. He is experienced in traffic management, car parking policy, public transport and bicycle planning.

Who is this for?

This study tour has been developed for professionals interested in learning how cities can be made to work better.

Those with any of the following job titles are especially suitable candidates to attend this study tour:

  • Urban planners
  • Transport planners
  • Place makers
  • Councillors/Elected local government officials
  • Road safety officers
  • Urban and transport researchers
  • Ministers and their advisors
  • Infrastructure managers

Professionals whose role also include one or more of the following will also benefit from this study tour:

  • Transport network design
  • Motorway development and management
  • Integrating urban redevelopment and large scale transport infrastructure
  • Urban revitalisation and place making
  • Strategic transport policy development
  • Safe System approach to transport planning
  • Local area traffic management, traffic calming and residential street traffic management
  • Car parking policy, pricing and reform
  • Bicycle planning

2019 Study Tour Program

Sunday 16th June

Welcome boat tour and dinner

  • Welcome, Mary K Hotel, Utrecht
  • Utrecht Canal Boat Tour with guest speaker discussing the history of Dutch planning
  • Welcome dinner at Goestings Restaurant, Utrecht

Monday, 17th June

Introduction to study tour and Dutch planning

  • Getting the most out of a Dutch transport study tour, Mary K Hotel. Led by Elliot Fishman
  • Short bike tour of central Utrecht.
  • Dutch Planning: An Overview of Principles and Practice, Professor Bert van Wee
  • Innovations in new residential developments: A Case Study in greenfield development.
Tuesday, 18th June

Motorways, pricing innovations and the Hovenring, Eindhoven

  • Short walking tour of Utrecht’s medieval town centre, inspecting newly pedestrianised areas and best practice example of bicycle end of trip facility. Led by Herbert Tiemens
  • Dutch motorway strategy and demand management. Led by Erik Verroen
  • Pricing innovations to achieve strategic city objectives. Led by Professor Erik Verhoef
  • Panel discussion: Erik Verroen, Erik Veroef, Bert van Wee
  • Field trip to Eindhoven to inspect the Hovenring, the world’s most spectacular example of bicycle infrastructure
Wednesday, 19th June

Electric vehicle charging, train system strategy and user experience optimisation, innovation in street design

  • Field trip: On street electric vehicle charging facility tour and explanation of government policy to increase adoption of plug in electric vehicles.
  • Dutch Railways: Visit the HQ of one of the world’s most innovative rail operators. Learn about Network development, innovations for optimising the user experience, managing peak demand, the future of ticketing pricing and technology, and the world’s only national bike share system.
  • Field trip: Dutch street innovation: Learn how the Dutch view their streets as constantly evolving projects to enhance safety, productivity and vitality. Great before and after illustrations to appreciate the impact that great placemaking can have on the character of a city. Led by Herbert Tiemens and Hillie Talens.
Thursday, 20th June

Amsterdam: Best practice examples of innovative street re-design

  • Tour the world’s largest bicycle parking facility (Utrecht Centraal Station), led by Herbert Tiemens.
  • Field trip: Amsterdam. Topics include:
    • Best practice intersection design
    • Corridor re-development project
    • Complete Streets
    • Re-allocation of road space
    • Tram prioritisation projects

    Several experts will guide you through some of the leading examples of place making and sustainable mobility prioritisation projects. Led by three noted experts: Ruwan Aluvihare, Landscape architect at the City of Amsterdam, Marco te Brommelstroet, from the University of Amsterdam and Meredith Glaser, an expert in helping international delegations get the most out of their study tours.

  • Reflections on transferability of Dutch transport innovation into the US/Australian city, led by Meredith Glaser

Friday, 21st June

Field trip: Implementation of the principles of the Safe Systems approach

  • Field trip: Utrecht. Applying the principles of sustainable safety, road network design and Dutch traffic planning principles. This expert led bike tour will showcase examples that have made the Netherlands a leader in sustainable mobility, safety and liveability. Led by Mark Wagenbuur, Hillie Talens and Herbert Tiemens
  • Sustainable mobility planning in the new City. Expert led tour of Houten (a post WWII town), including public transport and cycling infrastructure prioritisation projects. Led by Herbert Tiemens.
  • Translating the findings of a Dutch study tour into an auto-dependant city context. Facilitated by Meredith Glaser, Mary K Hotel
  • Group dinner, Blauw
Saturday, 22nd June

Optional side trips

  • Option 1: Tour of Groningen
  • Option 2: End of Study Tour

Accomodation in Utrecht

Utrecht is a perfect base for a transport innovation study tour and there is no better place in Utrecht to stay than the Mary K Hotel.

All delegates are provided with their own room in this award winning, independent hotel located in the heart of central Utrecht, facing the Oude gracht (Old Canal). The Mary K Hotel is quiet and comfortable, but at the centre of it all. Organic breakfast and bike hire is included.


The cost for the 2019 Study Tour is A$8,300 + GST (ex air fares)

What is covered in this cost?

  • Accommodation for 6 nights at the Mary K Hotel in Utrecht
  • Breakfasts
  • Train tickets during the period of the study tour, including Schiphol Airport transfers to Utrecht
  • Bike hire
  • Refreshments during organised lectures
  • Welcome dinner
  • Closing dinner
  • Creating great relationships with other professionals

What is not included?

  • Air fare to/from Amsterdam
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals other than those identified above
  • Any other costs incurred other than those stated as
    covered above

2019 Study Tour Applications Open

Please submit your application to be considered.


Q: Can I apply even if I have not had funding approved by my employer?

A: Yes. Prospective applicants are encouraged to apply and will have an opportunity to withdraw their application should funding issues arise.

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