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Not Just Bikes


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, Civics, Engineering

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - South, Europe


YouTube Video

Why City Design Is Important (And Why I Hate Houston)

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  • This video compares the infrastructure of car-centered cities in the United States to pedestrian and bike-friendly cities like those in the Netherlands. 
  • Students will learn about urban planning, urban sprawl, public transportation, and some of the factors and regulations that go into a city's design. 
Teaching Tips


  • It shows footage from different cities around the world to help illustrate its points.
  • It challenges the viewer to think about the design and the intention of the infrastructure for where they live.

Additional Prerequisites

  • There is an ad before the video.
  • The content of the video ends at 16:28. The remaining time is an ad and credits.


  • Students can use information from the video to write letters to their local representatives to advocate for more bike lanes and pedestrian paths in their communities.
  • The video is sectioned into chapters listed in the description.
  • The description links to the references and related readings for students who want more context and data.
  • Other resources related to these topics include Build Your Own Equitable City, Why I'm Living Without a Car, and What Makes Walkable Cities?
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 17-minute video providing narratives for efficient urban planning. It presents a case study on transportation infrastructure in Houston and the Netherlands and attempts to highlight the importance of designing not just car-centric facilities but also a great focus on pedestrian infrastructure such as sidewalks, green space, parks etc. to reduce road accidents, air pollution, and to also achieve environmental sustainability. It concludes that the Netherlands' transport model is environmentally fit for replication. Thus, this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
      • D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.12.6-8 Explain how global changes in population distribution patterns affect changes in land use in particular places.
      • D2.Geo.10.9-12 Evaluate how changes in the environmental and cultural characteristics of a place or region influence spatial patterns of trade and land use.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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