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We can build better

Part of what I love about traveling is that it can challenge your assumptions and change what you thought was possible.

My favorite city in the world is Amsterdam.

Because it's a reminder that many of the things we think are unchangeable in our cities actually can change.

World-class museums, culture, diversity, and transit connectivity are not just for megacities with extremely large populations.

The population of Amsterdam is the same as Portland, Oregon (both have about 2.5 million people in their metropolitan areas), but Amsterdam citizens get to enjoy the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, trams, streetcars, buses, the famous bike lines, and water canals.

Productive agriculture does not necessarily depend on vast swaths of land. The Netherlands is the 2nd largest exporter of food in the world, after only the US, even though the Netherlands is 0.42% of the size of the US.

Wonderful playgrounds, parks, schools, restaurants, schools, and children's stores seemingly on every block? Amsterdam has those.

And the bike culture that Amsterdam is famous for?

Amsterdam was not always so bike and pedestrian friendly. This was a design choice.

See the images above and below.

What I love about Amsterdam is that it is a reminder that things can change.

Our cities can be better.

We can build better.

That's what we at UrbanForm are working towards.

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