AI tool for bike friendly streets

  • Public services

    Challenge

    Cycling is good for your health and the environment. The Netherlands has therefore put the bicycle at the center of its plans for a climate-neutral future. The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (NBTC) has the ambition to inspire cities worldwide to follow the Netherlands’ example and create more space for bicycle-friendly environments, to promote sustainable and healthy mobility.

    Result

    To inspire the world, we have developed an AI tool to help people see in mere seconds what their cities could look like if they were designed for pedestrians and cyclists rather than cars. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), Google Streetview and the knowledge of Dutch cycling experts, people worldwide have the opportunity to add a touch of the Dutch cycling landscape to their own living environment.

    What we did

    Digital strategy, concept development, development

    Impact

    >1.5 mln
    streets transformed worldwide

    Awards

    • Dutch Interactive Awards - AI Applications
    • Dutch Interactive Awards - Digital for good
    • Nominee The Webby Awards - Public Service & Activism

    From busy street to bicycle-friendly in realtime

    The Cycling Lifestyle AI tool we developed makes every street greener and more pleasant in an instant. For this purpose, various AI tools that had not previously been brought together were combined. The tool turns streets around the world into typical Dutch streets in real time, with lots of greenery and space for cyclists. The user is then shown four variations. Finally, the user is encouraged to share the street, showing others the miraculous make-over.

    Een man is aan het coderen op een computerscherm

    Code Sharing

    The Dutch cycling lifestyle tool was built primarily with a technology called Stable Diffusion. This technology allowed us to generate images using text prompts on a model trained with many images. It also allowed us to paint in a particular area of an existing image. To determine this area, we used a segmentation model that detects the road and vehicles in the original images.

    We made the tool available for free to developers so that anyone in the world can help make streets bicycle-friendly.

    Check our code

    AI tool inspires worldwide

    The tool was a success: within a month, it had been used over 1 million times. From New York to New Delhi, streets around the world were given a bike-friendly makeover and then shared on social media. People shared their experiences and enthusiasm, which showed the great visualization power of the tool. ‘How we design our streets is a choice. We can make other choices,’ said Lee Waters, member of the Welsh Senate on Twitter/X. Other users shared the results with their friends or local initiatives, with comments such as, “Wow, I wish my street looked like this!” and “Fantastic. I’ve sent the results to my city councilor.’

    Krantenkoppen over de AI-tool

    A global call to cycling with Dutch flair

    Complementing our digital efforts was a physical campaign with Out of Home (OOH) ads in key cities: Brussels, Düsseldorf, London and Paris. Eye-catching billboards, placed along busy routes, showed a dynamic “before” and “after” transition on digital screens, generating interest in our AI tool. The call-to-action directed viewers to Holland.com, where a three-week pop-up served as a measure of the campaign’s effectiveness.

    Een poster van de campagne in Londen op een bushokje - NBTC cover - AI bot, Het Nederlands Bureau voor Toerisme & Congressen (NBTC), Cycling Lifestyle AI-tool
    We want to motivate real change within communities and governments to ensure the streets get more green space and become more friendly for sustainable means of transportation like cycling.
    Briana Van NotePublic relations manager for the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions, North America

    Ready to change things?

    Xander Zuidgeest

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