This video shows how the popular North American street-road model is dangerous, expensive, unattractive, and inefficient.
Students will learn how the Netherlands prioritized better transportation and decreased car travel by eliminating "stroads."
The video contains labeled segments that make it easy to jump to a specific part of the video.
Students will learn the difference between a road (which is designed for fast, efficient travel) and a street (which provides motorists and pedestrians access to buildings and businesses).
The video contains advertisements at the beginning and intermittently throughout.
This video is the fifth in a series, but it can be viewed independently.
Geography or social studies classes could use this video to discuss why the Netherlands decided to prioritize changes to their transportation infrastructure. The following questions could inspire further discussion:
What would it take to change an entire system of transportation? (infrastructure, laws, buy-in from the public, etc.)
What kinds of advantages does a country like the Netherlands have that allows them to make sweeping infrastructure changes?
Would you like to live in a community with stroads? Why or why not?
Civics or government classes could examine what kinds of local laws, policies, or regulations could promote better transportation.
Economics classes could examine the claim made in the video that parking lot-heavy stroad infrastructure is detrimental to economic growth.
Science and design classes could research how impermeable surfaces lead to poor drainage and problems with flooding.
Other resources on this topic include this interactive map that shows cities in the United States that have eliminated parking mandates, this Grist video on reimagining shopping malls, and this video about a program in New York City to develop better bike lanes.
The resource underscores the difference between street, road, and "stroad" networks and how "stroads" can be converted to improve traffic safety and reduce congestion in urban areas. This resource is insightful and recommended for teaching.
Civics & Government
Civics & Government 1 (D2): Students understand the basic ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in Maine and the United States as well as examples of other forms of government in the world by comparing how laws are made in Maine and at the federal level in the United States.
Geography 2 (F1): Students understand geographic aspects of unity and diversity in Maine, the United States, and various world cultures, including Maine Native Americans, by explaining how geographic features have impacted unity and diversity in Maine, the United States, and other nations.
Geography 1 (F2): Students understand the geography of the United States and various regions of the world and the effect of geographic influences on decisions about the present and future by evaluating and developing a well-supported position about the impact of change on the physical and cultural environment.