Amsterdam + Suburbs

Here at URBS we look at regions and believe that our cities and suburbs are co-dependent. Many of our older suburbs were really small towns with a downtown and communities of people who lived and worked right there in their town. Over the years as our cities declined and our suburbs grew so did our design of houses in them. The houses became larger and the suburbs became car based. These car based suburbs in many cases have re-created car based cities. Both acting independently only accessible by car or car based transit (busses). The new move to create walkable/bikeable communities and towns is a refreshing change. Although you can't change the car based suburbs of America, mainly because the houses are too spread out, in in many cases code just won't allow it, we were inspired by what we saw in the Netherlands. 

We ventured with the kids out to Utrecht a small town outside of Amsterdam. We even ventured out of Utrecht and out into the suburban neighborhoods. We found some very surprising things, among them, these small communities being connected to the city by light rail, bike lanes and very little car traffic. You could flow between the downtown and the outer neighborhoods into the country seamlessly and effortlessly. The neighborhoods are designed to be dense and connected, walkable and bikeable.