Improving bicycle parking in public space

The city of Amsterdam is famous for her bicycle culture. The relatively small city is easy to cross and there are bicycle lanes all around. However, once arrived on your destination it is often a hassle to find a good spot to leave your bike. And when you have finally found a safe space, you have to work your way through other peoples’ vehicles blocking the entire pedestrian path or a shop entrance.

The Local Council Amsterdam South asked STBY to help explore how bicycle parking can be improved. They asked to look specifically at the area around the Gerard Douplein in de Pijp, a district known for its liveliness and diversity – and the overwhelming amount of bicycles parked in public space. The city district council was not looking for a radical masterplan, but a coherent set of feasible solutions that can be embraced by the variety of people in the neighbourhood.

group discussion

To map the different perspectives in this ecosystem STBY organised three Bicycle Parking Labs where a total of 37 people participated. Amongst them were local residents, entrepreneurs, visitors and employees of city maintenance and the city district council. The challenge in this project was to have nuanced and realistic conversations, to explore both possible and acceptable solutions and to really consider the consequences for each of the stakeholders.

Although improvements are needed sooner rather than later, part of the session was focused on solutions with a 5-10 year horizon. This approach helped participants to think beyond current limitations and prevented them from getting stuck in specific details. In mixed groups of 5-6 people, participants built and discussed future bicycle facilities together. By placing the solutions on a map of the area they had to consider how the system would work in practice for all parties involved. The resulting shared vision formed a basis to identify steps that can be taken now already to work towards their desired scenario.


The project resulted in bespoke solutions for the current situation in de Pijp, but also solutions that work on a city level. We collaborated with design agency Edenspiekermann to create inspirational visuals of the 10 most promising directions. In addition we have been able to derive a set of general principles that help to understand how people feel about different approaches to regulating bicycle parking in the city. These are valuable for evaluating new proposals in the future.

We were pleased to hear that already a few weeks after the project the city district has started to implement the first short-term improvements that came up in the sessions. We are also keen to continue to contribute to more large scale implementations across the city.

Download the full report and a map of where improvements could be made here.

Innovating the Candidate Journey

Customer centric innovation is a common practice in design research today, and  can be seen as an evolution of that is employee centric innovation. Thinking of …

No Minor Thing

What can designers do to help combat the sexual exploitation of children? That is the question posed by What Design Can Do in collaboration with the Dutch Public Prosecutions…

Co-creating a traffic policy

Recently STBY was asked to support conversations between policymakers of the city of Amsterdam and residents of a specific neighborhood about the renewal of their…

Global challenges, local actions

Climate change is a global problem, yet we can locally design interventions that really make a difference, especially in cities around the world. It is well known…

Design Driven Business Innovation

For the third year in a row STBY partners with Amsterdam Business School in delivering its Professional Post-Graduate Course for Design Driven Business Innovation.…

Algorithms and personal taste

Determining what someone likes and satiating their everyday desires is a challenge that many content providers are now racing to tackle. From Netflix to Amazon,…