Hovenring Designer Adriaan Kok Discusses Building a Livable City

Adriaan Kok
Adriaan Kok, senior designer and project manager at ipv Delft, discusses the Hovenring and bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure with Boston University students, faculty, alumni, and staff as well as members from the greater Boston community on January 25th.

On Friday, January 25th, the Boston University City Planning and Urban Affairs Program, Initiative on Cities, and Sustainability@BU hosted Adriaan Kok, senior project manager and designer for the Dutch company ipv Delft. Passionate about bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure for all, Kok spoke about the process of designing and building the Hovenring, a large suspended bicycle bridge above a roundabout in the Netherlands to keep bicycle and automobile traffic separate. He shared his experiences and lessons learned through the process, and he emphasized how cost-efficient these projects can be.

Adriaan Kok
Adriaan Kok shares with the audience his book, a Dutch design manual for bikeped bridges.

Kok stressed the importance to “Use Context” when planning a large project. He talked about how filtering can save a lot of money. For example, the signage for the Hovenring was reinforced to stop vehicles that are too large from colliding with the bridge by using a structure that was already required to be there, which ended up being an important cost-saving tool. Another example of using context is to have multi-purpose bicycle paths. Kok explained that the paths can be used for utility vehicles for road maintenance, which will help the flow of automobile traffic. Framing bicycle paths as useful to the flow of automobile traffic might help citizens feel more comfortable with spending some of the budget on bicycle infrastructure.

Adriaan Kok Lecture
Adriaan Kok answers questions from the audience ranging from sustainability and affordability of projects, to increasing land value and gentrification at his talk, “Building a Livable City, Infrastructure for all.”

The lecture concluded with questions from the audience, including how major projects like the Hovenring affect the cost of living. Kok agrees that the price of land will increase in areas with major developments for the U.S., but he says that bicycling is so common in the Netherlands that bicycle infrastructure does not cause gentrification to the degree it does here in the States. Maybe one day bicycling will be so commonplace here that infrastructure will not be seen as a catalyst of gentrification, but a necessity.

To see Adriaan Kok’s presentation slides and other projects, please click here.

Alayna Graham, MCP’19