THE HAGUE 2-04

30 July 2020

This quarter, one of the Netherlands’ largest bicycle parking garages was opened in the city of The Hague, beneath the Central railway station. The garage can hold around 8,500 bicycles and contains 600 rental bicycles. Riders can roll into the facility via flat escalators and cycle within the garage. The space, which was designed by studios Silo and Studio Marsman, is back-lit and contains art to make cyclists feel like they’re entering a museum – not a parking garage.

The Hague’s new facility makes perfect sense in the Netherlands, where (as you’re probably aware) cycling is an extremely popular mode of transportation. In fact, the country contains more bikes than people – around 23 million bikes for all 17 million citizens – and cycling accounts for one-quarter of daily transportation. And of course, anything encouraging consumers to forego automotive transport is generally good for the environment; this has been pinpointed frequently as of late, as COVID-fuelled reductions in car use are leading to lower levels of pollution.

But what could an innovation like The Hague’s new parking garage mean for other countries around the world, where cycling isn’t nearly as commonplace? We’ll sum it up with the adage: “Build it and they will come.” If your brand is hoping to build any kind of sustainable solution, it could be a smart move to not solely focus on an eco-friendly product – but, rather, the system or infrastructure in which it will exist.

After all, if consumers can’t find a safe place to park their bike, will they ride it? If there isn’t anywhere to charge an EV, will they drive one? If consumers can’t find a way to compost the eco diapers they’re supposed to compost, will they go to the trouble of buying them? You know the answer. That’s why organizations like The Hague are addressing the issue of bicycle parking with this garage, brands like EVgo are reducing ‘range anxiety’ by setting up EV charging networks in popular locations, and companies like bamboo diaper maker Dyper are creating disposal schemes for their products.

By filling in these logistical ‘blanks’, how can you make it not just easy but actually possible for consumers to make their daily routines more sustainable?

Stay healthy,

The TrendWatching content team