Eleana Orr

Burg to Bourg: shadowing the AOU

Young Urbanist: Cycling tour from Freiburg to Strasbourg

The AoU (The Academy of Urbanism) is an organisation based in London, which brings together like-minded
individuals from many different fields within architecture and urban design / planning. ‘The Academy of Urbanism is
a politically independent, not-for-profit organisation that brings together both the current and next generation of
urban leaders, thinkers and practitioners. We recognise, encourage and celebrate great places and the people and
organisations that create and sustain them.’ – https:// www.academyofurbanism.org.uk/
This year The AoU are taking a group of 14 individuals to the Netherlands for the Velo- City conference in the
Netherlands (https://www.velo-city2017.com/), from 13th to 15th June. I am intending to travel out a few days
before the organised group arrives and explore Amsterdam City before the Velo-City Conference, and then travel
separately around Belgium on a bicycle to explore different urban design schemes. This will allow me to experience
different tourist destination points as well as other architectural elements of interest which may not necessarily be
on the tourist map, all on bike. If needed, local transport will be used to go further afield.
The previous trip with the AoU, in 2016 (see attached poster), to Copenhagen taught me so much about how a city
can develop with the focus of good transport connections and encouraging exercise in fun and ingenious ways. All
talks and discussions which explained the thinking behind the cohesive routes, widened my understanding and
creativity of how much can be implemented to make cycling and walking fun. When exploring Belgium on bike and
going to the Velo-City Conference in the Netherlands, I hope to be inspired for my final year of study on the Master’s
Course. In particular I am intending to explore different urban design schemes across Belgium, whilst enhancing my
architectural skills. Cycling doesn’t need to be seen as boring and just exercise, the UK should be looking at all
these ideas and introduce conversation cycle lanes and green waves – just some of the great ideas! And it is
because of this that I am going on the next trip with the AoU, to continue my interest as a cyclist but more
importantly as an inspiring Architect and urban designer.