Humans and their pets. One thought that comes to mind is that we mostly treat 'm like humans. In good & bad ways, but let's go for the majority vote, the good. A snippet from a municipal policy guideline:
No city can really thrive without animals. Animals represent an important part of our community. As companions, as an endangered species and sometimes as a source of nuisance.
By connecting the interests of users (humans and animals) of the public space and align these with each other, we'll be able to create a more harmonious co-existence. The municipal welfare policy should not only represent the human vision, but also give animals a voice. There needs to be recognition that animals shouldn't be viewed primarily on the basis of their meaning, usefulness or the damage they possibly cause to humans, but that they should be assessed on their value as living beings.
Isn't it striking how one can so easily replace the above subjects with 'people on bicycles' & 'car drivers', to describe a virtually equal objective? Or for that matter, 'people on foot' & 'transit'? Exactly. I could now veer off into an expose on how equality has prevailed in everyday traffic & policies in the Netherlands, but I won't.
In these pictures you can easily see the 'chain reaction' of positive bicycle policies & promotion at work. The more human you treat your city landscape (by design), the more inviting and inspiring it is for people to act accordingly. Cycling is dealt with as a faster way of walking, so that gets facilitated appropriately. Cycling becomes the norm, then the most normal thing in the world: not giving it another thought. With the ease of cycling comes the natural selection of applications, aka: what can I do on my bike? The options are almost limitless. And pets, well, they form just one extension of those applications. Thus, people are able to seamlessly have their pets join them on their A2B routes, regardless of time & place (& weather).
In short: nobody will look funny at you. Better yet, people copy behavior. And who wouldn't want to copy this, right?
And why not add 'The Chase', while I'm at it. And click here if you wanna see me ride around with my parents' Jack Russel named 'Beau'.
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