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Open Programma

Honoursmodule: The City on Two Wheels

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dr. Y. Liu

Entry requirements 

Second and Third year bachelor students participating in an honours programme.

Recommended prior knowledge

To lighten the study load, students have the option to follow the public version of “Unraveling the Cycling City” before starting the course https://www.coursera.org/teach/unraveling-the-cycling-city/

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course the student can:

  • Apply design thinking to the urban streetscape.
  • Analyze the sociological effects of a cycling and mobility cultures.
  • Describe the historical development of Dutch cycling
  • Critically reflect on how the urban environment affects mobility behavior.
  • Assess how mobility options impacts people’s access to opportunities.


Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities

Obscured by its apparent simplicity, cycling is a complex phenomenon. Being an almost perfect human-machine hybrid, cycling is deeply rooted in a plethora of socio-technological systems. Around the world, cycling is embraced as an important ingredient to tackle a wide variety of individual and societal challenges. The Netherlands is often seen as an ideal living lab, because cycling has retained its significant share of mobility throughout the country. At the same time, there are large differences in developments across time and space that allows for a better understanding of potential causal relations.

Using Amsterdam as a laboratory, we will analyze cycling in relation to spatial, ecological, historical, social, cultural, economic, biological and political structures. This blended learning honors course incorporates the state-of-the-art knowledge that emerges from research and practice on the Dutch cycling system. As such, it provides an easily accessible platform to learn about important causes and effects, will open your minds to marvel at the underlying complexity of cities and how we move.

Teaching method

Seminar, presentation, fieldwork/excursion, guidance and students in this course are expected to complete a customized private session version of the online MOOC “Unraveling the Cycling City” https://www.coursera.org/teach/unraveling-the-cycling-city/


  • Completion of quizzes in “Unraveling the Cycling City” MOOC 10%
  • Active discussion in forums of “Unraveling the Cycling City” MOOC 20% (2% per post x 10)
  • “Key Takeaways” draft video script (in groups of 2): 10 %
  • Peer review: “Key Takeaways” draft video script (in groups of 2): 10 %
  • [Final assessment] “Key Takeaways” 10 minute video (in groups of 2): 50 %

Study material:

  • All readings used in this course are “Open Access” and available at no charge to students.
  • We will be taking excerpts from the online MOOC “Unraveling the Cycling City” to support the in-class sessions https://www.coursera.org/teach/unraveling-the-cycling-city/
  • For the final assessment, video can be filmed on a phone and edited with free video editing software.


Excursion planned to Eindhoven. Students will need to pay for train ticket if not covered by OV chipkaart abonnement.

Min/max participants



The schedule will be available on Datanose .


Registration is possible for 2nd year (or higher) students participating in an Honours programme. The registration for the Honours courses will start on June 4, 10 am -  June 8, 11 pm, You can register through the online registration form that will appear on Honoursmodules IIS.

Placement will be at random and within two weeks students will hear whether they are placed for a course. 

There is no guarantee for placement if you register after June 8, so make sure you apply on time! 

For questions: please contact Honours-iis@uva.nl 

The IIS strives to reflect current societal issues and challenges in the educational offer and attempts to integrate the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) in this course. For more information about these goals, please visit the SDG's website.

Facts & Figures
Mode Honours programme
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Starts in September