Nantes to Host Velo-city 2015
BRUSSELS, Belgium – “We have chosen the French city Nantes to host the Velo-city 2015 in part due to recent commitments to improve cycling”, said Bernhard Ensink, Secretary General of the European Cyclists’ Federation, organizer of the biggest cycling planning conference.
Between 2009-2014 the region of Nantes will spend an estimated €40 million on cycling between, with the share of journeys by bike increasing from 2% to 4% between 2008 and 2012. It was also the first French city to allow for ‘right turn on red’ lights for cyclists.
“Hosting Velo-city in Nantes in 2015 will be a great encouragement for the government and all local authorities to invest in cycling infrastructure and services,” says Genevieve Laferrere, President of the FUB, France’s national bicycle association.
“The return of the bicycle as a means of transport in French cities is the result of continuous lobbying by our 180 member associations. Our federation is proud that the internationally acclaimed Velo-city acknowledges this important field work. “
The last time France hosted a Velo-city was in Paris in 2003, and French bicycle advocates are hoping for it to act as a catalyst for change in a country which sees only 3% of trips done by bicycle. France released a national cycling plan last year and the present government will accelerate its implementation.
“Now it’s time for Nantes, and France’s national government to make the most of this opportunity. It’s time for them to continue putting cycling at the heart of transport policy,” comments Ensink.
Over four days, the conference will gather more than a 1000 global cycling experts, traffic planners, cycling advocates, architects, educators, politicians and others who will be giving advice on everything cycling related. Countries that host the prestigious conference generally see substantial growth in cycling numbers.
The Velo-city conferences serve as a global communications and information platform and target to influence decision makers, and improve the planning and provision of infrastructure for the daily use of the bicycle in an urban environment. The conferences traditionally involve experts, representatives of associations, institutions, policy-makers and social agents, universities and companies. Velo-city 2013 will be held in Vienna, Austria (June 11-14).