Mobycon collaborated with PeopleForBikes — the USA’s non-profit alliance of industry leaders and individuals working to make bicycling better for everyone — to orchestrate an inspiring five-day study tour to the Netherlands. The objective was to immerse civic and business leaders from the dynamic Northwest Arkansas region in the Dutch model for sustainable 21st century transportation. The multi-disciplinary cohort of urban visionaries and influencers used the rolling backdrop of the Dutch experience to shape a shared vision for mobility and health in the greater Bentonville (Arkansas) region. Zach Vanderkooy, a Mobycon staff member who specialises in leading effective study tours, designed and facilitated the event, closely collaborating with the PeopleForBikes team to develop a custom agenda that satisfied the needs, opportunities and challenges of Bentonville. Mobycon’s extensive experience in organizing study tours and workshops, supported by its network of Dutch experts, delivered a powerful experience for the participants.

Empowered by academic research on the efficacy of crafting professional learning experiences, the custom agenda included experiential bicycle tours in Delft, Rotterdam, and Zwolle, as well as presentations, workshops and facilitated discussions led by Mobycon and other international experts. Personalised peer-to-peer exchanges helped bridge the gaps between Dutch and U.S. practice. The tour notably featured a visit to a local fire station to enable Bentonville’s Fire Chief and a Dutch counterpart to compare notes on incorporating emergency response needs into a multi-modal street design strategy.

Participants experienced first-hand how historical and modern innovations have contributed to the cycling success of the Netherlands, while grounding those lessons in rigorous dialogue about how to adapt them to the unique physical, political, and cultural contexts of the southeastern United States.