VANCOUVER, Canada – Ahead of the Velo-city Global in Vancouver, organizer European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) attended the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro last week. Here ECF took the global message of cycling to (among other world leaders) the United Nation's Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon (see photo).
One of the themes of this Conference on Sustainable Development which is also known as the Rio+20 Conference, was sustainable cities. It goes beyond saying that cycling in this respect can offer THE urban mobility solution that next to no emission and no noise at all also contributes to less congestion. A message that the ECF brought to the Rio+20 Conference which is envisaged as a Conference at the highest possible level, including Heads of State and Government or other representatives.
'Right to cycle'
At Velo-city Global, which will take place from June 26-29, in Vancouver “It is once again the perfect time to tell the world that children must have a universal right to cycle”, says ECF President Manfred Neun.
At the end of June thousand of the cycling world's best and brightest will gather in Vancouver, Canada. Velo-city Global 2012 is expected to put cycling on a truly global stage. Global warming, obesity, congestion, the environment and a sluggish economy all point towards cycling as a solution.
'A successful city for people'
One of the main themes this year is ‘children’. “We were all children once and our first bike ride was a rite of passage. So now it’s our chance to ensure this generation of children can have the same experience. After all, if we can build a successful city for children, then we can build a successful city for people”, says Manfred Neun.
While Velo-city Global is preparing for their conference, the city of Vancouver is heading to become North America’s cycling capital. With over 60,000 trips everyday done by bicycle, Vancouver has seen a huge spike in cyclists and pro-cycling policies. “If Vancouver keeps up this positive momentum towards cycling, I’m almost certain that it could be the Copenhagen or Amsterdam of North America,” says Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of ECF.
Biggest cycling policy conference
“I really think Europeans will be impressed by Vancouver when it hosts the world’s biggest cycling policy conference at the end of the month. Velo-city is going to create a huge push in the number of cyclists,” says Ensink, “but Vancouver will have to continue spending on quality infrastructure.”
Ensink sums up the results of previous conferences: “In the run up to Velo-city in 2009, Brussels (Belgium) managed to double cyclists. Seville (Spain), who hosted the conference in 2011, saw bicycle traffic increase ten-fold.”
[For royalty free downloadable photos visit: http://flickr.com/gp/61204891@N03/kH34na/ or www.ecf.com/press_release/04-06-2012-can-vancouver-copenhagenize/ ]