Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante is currently in Amsterdam, where she will soon attend the World Summit AI, the world's leading artificial intelligence summit. 

In the meantime, however, she's using her time in the Dutch city to learn more about the fantastic cycling network that Amsterdam is so famous for.

In a couple of tweets sent out this morning, Plante explains that she was given a bit of a tour by the Dutch Cycling Embassy, to "discover the cycling facilities that allow people to move easily and safely through the city."

In the tweets, she also indicates that "Montreal can certainly be inspired by the know-how of Amsterdam," and its inhabitants.

While Plante's international travel has some commenters up in arms, due to the mayor's dedication to environmental advocacy, it's clear this visit is more than a vacation. Artificial Intelligence has the ability to improve the quality of life for large numbers of people and should be something Montreal continues to consider in plans for the city's future.

And, of course, cycling is and will always be a way of life in Montreal... so why not get a little inspiration from a country that is arguably the best in the world for cycling?

The mayor's first tweet reads, "Arrived in Amsterdam to take part in World Summit AI, which will bring together the forces of artificial intelligence. I'm taking this opportunity to discover the cycling facilities that allow people to move easily and safely through the city."

As we wrote a couple weeks ago, Plante has expressed interest in creating a borough in Montreal that exists without the circulation of cars.

This makes me wonder if the mayor will take a trip to Groningen in the Netherlands, a city that is infamous for banning the circulation of cars through the city in 1977.


READ ALSO: Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante Wants To Build A Borough With No Cars

According to The Guardian, the city of Groningen made the change overnight, altering the direction of streets or making them one-way, until "the centre of Groningen became impenetrable for cars." All in one night.

Translation: Thank you Chris Bruntlett from @Cycling_Embassy for taking the time to speak with me. Montreal can certainly be inspired by the know-how of Amsterdam!"


The reality is that something like that would be much harder now, in present-day Montreal. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything to learn from the Dutch - particularly their desire to stop adjusting cities to the needs of vehicles, and start adjusting vehicle behaviours towards the needs of those within the city.

This visit to Amsterdam is just another spoke in Plante's bike-wheel for environmental change in Montreal.

She is letting the expertise of older, more-practiced cities inspire change and inform the future of Montreal, and personally, I'm all for it.

We're sure her BFF Greta would be proud, too.

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