This article was published in 2012, in Newsletter 103.
Study tours are inspirational. Based on our positive experience in Copenhagen, Assen and Groningen, I am organising a study tour to my home town of Oldenburg in Germany. Owing to popular demand I have decided to plan this for Saturday to Tuesday 25-28 May 2013.
Monday 27th is a bank holiday in the UK but not in Germany, which should hopefully give us the opportunity to meet local planners in Oldenburg and to try the base-stationless ‘call-a-bike’ rental scheme in Bremen on Tuesday.
Oldenburg is a unitary authority (Kreisfreie Stadt) with a footprint almost equal to that of Cambridge and has two universities with together over 20,000 students. But with 162,000 inhabitants Oldenburg’s population and population density (1575/km²) are higher. Cambridge will see similar numbers once the additional housing currently planned materialises. Oldenburg’s 2009 household survey showed that less than 5% of ‘Oldenburger’ walk, under 10% use the bus and 43% go by bike. And ‘Oldenburger’ are all weather-cyclists: apparently in January and February last year they were second only to Copenhagen. While Oldenburg doesn’t quite compete with the luxurious cycling infrastructure in Assen, it is well worth a visit as it compares directly with Cambridge in many ways.