Transport Innovation Study Tour, The Netherlands


Transport Innovation Study Tour has been

postponed until further notice due to COVID-19

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 showcase 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 other, more car-dependent 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 transport innovation in action

A great example of Dutch transport innovation can be seen in this short video, capturing an intersection in Utrecht which carries over 100,000 people per day. No private motor vehicle access is allowed. It is the busiest bicycle route in the Netherlands and one of the most important bus routes. Its a great example of the space efficiency of public transport, cycling and walking. Take a look!

I highly recommend this tour to all involved in local government. The information and networking that you receive is invaluable, practical and applicable.

Judith Hannan, 2018 Study Tour Delegate

Mayor, Wollondilly Shire Council, NSW

The Study Tour was a great opportunity to learn from and engage with experts, while seeing firsthand the transport and land use outcomes in the Netherlands. Throughout the week, content revolved around what went well, what didn’t go so well, and how these learnings can be applied to the Australian context. It was also valuable to meet and develop relationships with representatives from across Australia, and share each of our own experiences.

The Study Tour was thoroughly enjoyable and all efforts were made to ensure the group got the most out of the course.

Robert Busch, 2018 Study Tour Delegate

Economist, Infrastructure Australia


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.

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)

Jeen Kootstra

Jeen Kootstra

Urban Planner, City of Utrecht

Jeen Kootstra works on one of the Netherland’s largest greenfield residential developments, in Leidsche Rijn on the western edge of Utrecht. He works to integrate sustainable mobility into new town development and has a focus on increasing the vibrancy of new developments.

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.

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. Hillie expertise is increasingly sought after by governments interested in achieving a healthier mix of modes, safer streets and a more sustainable transport system that integrates modes more effectively.

Wijnand Veeneman

Wijnand Veeneman

Associate Professor Organisation and Management

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.

Meredith Glaser

Meredith Glaser

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.

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. He undertook his PostDoc at Utrecht University and works with many Australian local and state governments on transport planning projects.

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. His field trip tours of Dutch streets take a multi-modal approach and offer practical insights into the decision making processes that have enabled the Dutch to become world leaders in city design.

Lot van Hooijdonk

Lot van Hooijdonk

Vice Mayor, City of Utrecht

Lot van Hooijdonk is a vice mayor (Dutch Green party) at the municipality of Utrecht with a focus on mobility, sustainability and energy transition. She was deputy director of Utrecht’s Federation for Nature and Environment and worked as a consultant at the national government for Transport. She studied Political Science at Florida University in the US and History at the University of Utrecht.

Karin van der Weele

Karin van der Weele

Urban Planner, City of Utrecht

Karin van der Weele has been instrumental in the development of new, large-scale residential development and works to inject sustainability and liveability principles into her projects. She has worked on Leidsche Rijn, the biggest new development in the Netherlands since the beginning, over 20 years ago. Her current focus is on improving the connection between this new town, and the old centre of Utrecht. Her experience is invaluable for those working to boost the sustainability of new areas in cities.

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

Provisional Study Tour Program

Day 1: Welcome boat tour and dinner

  • Welcome, Mary K Hotel, Utrecht
  • Introduction to getting around safety on a bike in the Netherlands
  • How to get the most out of your study tour
  • Utrecht Canal Boat Tour with a guest speaker discussing the history of Dutch planning
  • Welcome dinner at Blauw Restaurant, Utrecht

Day 2: Introduction to Dutch planning: theory & practice

  • Short bike tour of central Utrecht. Led by Elliot Fishman
  • Dutch Planning: An Overview of Principles and Practice, Professor Bert van Wee
  • Cutting edge transport innovation at the local level: the case of Utrecht. Led by Deputy Mayor Lot van Hooijdonk, City of Utrecht
  • Innovations in new residential developments: a case study in greenfield development

Day 3: Motorways, Sustainable Safety and the Hovenring, Eindhoven

  • A short tour of newly pedestrianised city streets
  • Dutch motorway strategy and demand management. Led by Erik Verroen
  • Sustainable safety: Understanding the fundamentals of world’s best practice road safety
  • Field trip to Eindhoven to inspect the Hovenring, the world’s most spectacular example of bicycle infrastructure

Day 4: Amsterdam: Best practice examples of innovative street re-design

  • Tour the world’s largest bicycle parking facility (Utrecht Centraal Station). Led by Elliot Fishman.
  • 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, Meredith Glaser, from the University of Amsterdam, 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

Day 5: Translating best practice principles into car-dependent cities

  • 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.
  • Translational practice: Learn from two key experts on how to translate best practice into the car-dependent cities of Australia/US/NZ/UK. Led by Wijnand Veeneman and Fred Wegman.
  • Translating the findings of a Dutch study tour into an auto-dependent city context. Facilitated by Meredith Glaser, Mary K Hotel
  • Group dinner, Goestings Restaurant

Day 6: 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, yet at the centre of it all. Organic breakfast and bike hire are included.

Save over $1,000
by applying early!

Early Bird Special


What is covered in this cost?

  • Accommodation for 6 nights at the Mary K Hotel in Utrecht
  • Breakfast each morning
  • 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

Study Tour

Expression of Interest

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.

Questions? Email Us

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