Kindlint – Child route, Amsterdam

  • Posted on: 26 September 2017
  • By: Hidde Westerweele

In 2007 the first Kindlint (child route) in The Netherlands has been implemented in Spaarndammerbuurt, Amsterdam. A Kindlint is a child friendly route which connects playgrounds, schools and other locations for children. They are characterized as safe, fun and attractive with as little crossings as possible.

The motive for the Kindlint is that there are signals that children travel independently at a later age than before. During the seventies, children would on average travel independently at the age of eight. Nowadays, the average age for children to travel independently is ten years old. The main reason for this increase is that there is more traffic than before, which makes it less safe for children to travel to their locations.

Transformational Measures and Activities
The Kindlint consists of four parts:
1. A specified route;
2. Child-safe and traffic delaying crossings;
3. Additional play options on the route;
4. More color and art.

- Children walk to school more often. However, they do not always use the Kindlint for these trips;
- The Kindlint contributes to a network of places for children, but some main destinations are missing;
- Street entertainment is enhanced by additional playing features;
- The Kindlint is a recognizable route, but people often have to be in places which are not connected by the Kindlint. Moreover, not everybody understands the intention of the tiles, or at least, they behave like they do not know. The tiles are added to help the children at crossings (wait or go tiles);
- The parents guide their children almost as often as before the implementation of the Kindlint. In the afternoon, children are on their way independently more often, however differences are minimal;
-The Kindlint measures contribute to safer traffic. The Spaarndammerbuurt however, already was a serene neighborhood;
- Almost all children and parents know the Kindlint and like it.

Challenges, Opportunities and Transferability
A Kindlind has got some clear advantages for the children: there are more nearby playgrounds, there is more children’s art, the cars drive slower and crossings are improved. New Kindlint’s should focus on these aspects.

The Kindlint in Amsterdam was to a limited extent successful. The indicated route and the guidance tiles (stop or go) were often not followed. Children choose their own way, this could be a challenge. Next to this, it is a challenge to design child friendly neighbourhoods in advance instead of retroactively. If children go outside independently more often and at a younger age than now, the challenge is to make sure that this will happen in a safe way.

In Depth (and in Dutch)