The Hague, the city of corporations, skyscrapers and bikes! [with photos]

If you come to the Hague you'll be astonished with so huge and tremendously tall new skyscrapers you can find in down-town, close to the renewed central station. This outstanding city has the skyscrapers of New York with its financial, banking and insurance corporations, without the need of huge and large avenues only allocated to cars and motorized vehicles and its respective noise and air pollution; and has a wide network of bicycle lanes basing as well its paradigm on a pedestrians friendly mobility system, like Amsterdam. It's the best of two worlds!

Paradoxically, the head office of some of the biggest petrol corporations are in the Hague, like Shell and Schlumberger. But many other law, banking and insurance companies have their offices in the Hague, as this city has a historical record of hosting many international institutions. I remind you that the Dutch government has strong fiscal incentives for companies which decide to settle down in the Netherlands. So, if you come to the Hague you'll have a strong feeling: you'll see a financial based city, like many cities in the world like NY or London, but where cars and motorized vehicles interests, were severely diminished.

If someone here wants to show status, they wont buy a car, they buy a good bike. If you're american or from southern Europe, don't dare to come here with your fully equipped and powered automobile, because here it's rubbish and it doesn't even enter in the city. So, you'll need to park it outside the city centre, and be prepared to pay almost 3€ per hour for parking it in the street. Because it runs on fuel, i.e., on money, be prepared to pay more than 1.7€/litre of gasoline which is 8.5 USD/gallon. The consequences of this policy is that, almost every citizen moves either on foot, by bike or by public transports. So we have a city of the future, for the 21st century. 

The Hague has around the same population density as cities like London or Lisbon and 35 times higher than NY, but with noise and air pollutions levels of countryside. In big squares you wont hear car engines, you'll hear people chatting; in large avenues you want hear vehicle horns, you'll just smoothly hear the creaking of pedals and bike chains. And even the cars, when they can circulate, they are obliged to move slowly as 30km/h zones are everywhere. Public transports are excellent with a wide network of frequent buses and trams, and if you simply decide to walk, you'll find large and unoccupied side-walks.

And like NY or London, you'll see a surprisingly outstanding variety of races, ethnicities, origins, colours and religions, and the majority of them, go on bike! The first keen impression I got, was when I saw a young woman with a burqa riding a bike. Then I saw a very well good looking executive man riding a bike, then the grandma that went on shopping, then the couple in love (he pedals, she seats) and then the rastaman. Still, the father that takes their two children to school or the Asian lady who carries a large load of cargo to supply her shop, and all of them, go on bike! No air pollution, no noise, and low occupation space. But not only bikes, as it is possible to see many people using electric chairs, skateboards or rollerblades as a mean of transportation. With this quality of air, many people also do jogging in down-town, really incredible!

But the huge success of mobility in this city, as many other Dutch cities, relies as well on the quality of the cycle network. In the Hague you may see mainly: segregated unidirectional cycle lanes, without removing too much space to pedestrians; many car-free streets only for bikes and pedestrians with the bike tracks normally at its centre; and when cars can circulate you'll find a 30km/h zone where sharing and traffic low speed are a must.

Common respect! These are the cities for the future!

The bicycle and the skyscrapers

The gasoline is very expensive in the Netherlands

Parking on the street is also very expensive

Woman with burqa
Electric vehicle for some old people

Old lady

Father with two children

Executive man with folding bike

Young stylish man

Couple of lovers

Lady with baby

Middle-age woman with basket for shopping

Middle-age stylish woman

Father and son

Rebel man


Two friends

Middle age black woman goes shopping

Stylish girl

Two black mates

Asian lady carries its cargo

Stylish girl

Muslim man

Stylish young lady

Rebel girl

Middle-age man

Indigent man

Hispanic lady

Father with two children


Strange man

Two young ladies go for night-life

Jogging in down-town

Indonesian descendent boy

Black dude

Stylish young man

Executive man


Another black dude

Young lady

If you want to show status, buy a stylish bicycle

Underground parking for bicycles

Middle-age executive man

Young executive-man

Pakistani boy

Chinese young man

One-way streets, except for bicycles

Dedicated lanes on the right side, one for each direction

Segregated lanes,
without removing to much space to pedestrians

Trams in The Hague

In a wide area of city centre, cars circulation is limited

Over-ground parking space for bicycles

Many young people move on skateboards
If you want to check to full album CLICK HERE!

9 comentários:

  1. As fotos estão todas giras, mas a que gostei mais, foi a primeira (nem sei bem porquê) e também achei a da sra. da burca muito gira e original.

    1. A hipocrisia de toda esta falácia é que quem viva por exemplo a mais de 50 km fica simplesmente restrito no acesso à cidade.

    2. Se vive a 50 km anda de transportes públicos. Há milhares de pessoas que não podem ter carro. As escolhas são sempre em função do que se pode ou não fazer. Eu vivo a 80 e vou de comboio e depois na cidade de bicicleta. 60 anos...

    3. A ferrovia holandesa é das mais usadas do mundo, i.e., com mais tráfego de passageiros. E há muita gente que tem duas bicicletas, tendo a segunda na estação de destino. Também podem usar a OV-Fiets, um sistema público gratuito de partilha de bicicletas nas estações ferroviárias.

  2. Portanto segundo a filosofia dos fundamentalistas pro bike, só se pode viver em arranha céus, tudo o resto deve ser proscrito. Em termos práticos querem reduzir os habitantes do exterior dos perímetros urbanos a um modo de vida ao nível do século XVIII. Assim poderão manter as elites urbanas isoladas dos saloios que as alimentam ilegalizando o automóvel e garantindo assim que as mesmas não serão incomodadas! Estás bem enganado, se queres guerra vais tê-la!

    1. Se quiser colocar milhões de pessoas numa área pequena, ou seja, se quer zonas urbanas com elevadíssimas densidades populacionais (Hong Kong, Singapura, Tóquio, etc.) qual é a alternativa? Além disso o texto não servia para defender arranha-céus, mas para evidenciar que os arranha-céus foram uma consequência da hegemonia automóvel, tal como em muitas cidades americanas, visto que o automóvel exige imenso espaço público. De facto, a maioria dos holandeses vive em pequenas casas geminadas com jardim, e já agora, sem garagem. E podem fazê-lo exatamente porque têm políticas de mobilidade racionais, onde a bicicleta, que ocupa muito menos espaço, é a rainha da mobilidade.

  3. Fundamentalista é quem pensa que pode andar a matar sem consequências...

  4. Então aqueles que não são brancos não podem ser stylish, relaxed, going to school ou assim?