Bikes > Cycle

This website lets you reimagine Metro Manila as a cyclist’s green paradise

With the power of artificial intelligence

If you have some time to spare, how about giving this site a try? SCREENSHOT FROM DUTCH CYCLING LIFESTYLE

Ever wondered what Metro Manila would look like if the powers-that-be hadn’t buried it under millions of tons of concrete? How green and human-friendly major thoroughfares could be if we didn’t insist on worshipping the automobile above all else? Well, wonder no more as there’s a website that can give you the answer.

That's a lot of flowers on Makati Avenue. SCREENSHOTS FROM DUTCH CYCLING LIFESTYLE

Dutch Cycling Lifestyle uses AI to reimagine streets and show you how they would look if they were designed with the same mindset as places like Amsterdam.

The Dutch capital is famous for its people-centered and cycling-friendly layout. And being on record as saying that Metro Manila could easily be the Amsterdam of Asia, I couldn’t resist having a go at imagining what the megalopolis could look like.

The site is super easy to use, and either lets you choose a location to “Dutchify” by searching for it or using GPS coordinates. Or you can also upload an image to be used. It then gives you four different versions to choose from.

Have you ever wondered how EDSA would look if it were walkable? PHOTO BY FRANK SCHUENGEL
The AI still kept the MRT tracks in the image. SCREENSHOT FROM DUTCH CYCLING LIFESTYLE
Have you ever walked along this part of EDSA? PHOTO BY FRANK SCHUENGEL
That looks like a nice place for a leisurely stroll at night. SCREENSHOT FROM DUTCH CYCLING LIFESTYLE

Playing with this tool and seeing how different the Philippine capital could look once again makes me wonder why it doesn’t. As I’ve written many times before, even a place like Amsterdam was once as car-mad as Metro Manila, but then the people started to realize that this couldn’t be the way forward and demanded change.

Some cities in Metro Manila are trying to do the right thing, like Quezon City with its bike lanes and 15-minute-city plans, but much more work remains. Maybe you can send the link to this site to your local politicians to get them excited about the idea of a prettier city, too? It’s worth a shot.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.