News Article

Future of Cycling To Meet in Nantes


BRUSSELS, Belgium – The future of cycling is about to meet in Nantes, France this year. The world’s primary annual conference series on cycling- Velo-city – will take place in less than two weeks in the city of Nantes which has been selected by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) due to its inspiring story and forward-thinking measures.

Future of Cycling To Meet in Nantes
The three-day Velo-city 2015 Congress kicks off on June 3 with the Industry Day; a top meeting for the bicycle industry, policy-makers and politicians. – Photo Velo-city

The three-day Velo-city 2015 Congress kicks off on June 3 with the Industry Day; a top meeting for the bicycle industry, policy-makers and politicians.

Top speakers

Industry Day organizers European Cyclists Federation (ECF) and the Cycling Industry Club (CIC) say that there has never been an better mix of people, ideas and expertise in one place to discuss the combined potential of bicycle industry and cycling advocacy. All aspects of cycling are brought together in a full set of sessions and networking events with top speakers such as Jeroen Snijders Blok from Accell Group, Vicky Yang, CEO of advocacy and promotional NGO the Cycling Lifestyle Foundation, Tony Grimaldi, CEO of Cycleurope, Jérôme Valentin, President of French manufacturers’ association CNPC and Raymond Gense from PON will be there to discuss the potential of cycling on job creation and the role of the advocacy in developing the market. There will be plenty opportunities for networking as well as a one hour debate which will allow all participants to get actively involved.

Increase in mode share

Velo-city is a big milestone on Nantes’ cycling path which shall help them to continue to increase their cycling use. ECF has praised the work which France and French cities have managed to achieve in the past years regarding to cycling. At a press conference earlier this month in Paris Dr Bernhard Ensink, ECF Secretary General stated, now it is Nantes’ turn to show its strength in cycling. “The cycling news coming out of Nantes is nothing short of impressive; an increase in mode share that more than doubled within 4 years, projects like Bike2Work, data collection development, big infrastructure plans and projects that involve local citizens and school campaigns”, said the Secretary General of ECF just highlighting a few positive examples of the city’s work lately.

Cycling is a future maker

Ensink also stressed the importance of this year’s Velo-city story too that cycling is a future maker. “ECF understands the importance of the adoption of cycling plans and we see how successful it has been in Nantes and at a national level in France too. We are calling now on the European Commission and the EU members states for an EU Roadmap for Cycling”, added the Secretary General of ECF. “I am sure thatVelo-city 2015 Nantes will deliver important content for Roadmaps and Masterplan for cycling at local, national and international levels.”

Record setting figures

Some insights into the program were given by Hadrien Bedok, Programme Director of Velo-city 2015, highlighting the impressive numbers of 250 speakers selected out of 750 applications. Yet these record setting figures shouldn’t shadow the impressive quality and diversity of the participants’ background and expertise.

The high quality of the content will be accompanied by huge numbers of cultural or side events and activities to make this Velo-city truly unforgettable for each attendee.

Crucial moment

ECF Secretary Ensink said further, “We are also at a crucial moment for sustainable development on a global level. The UN will adopt in 2015 new Sustainable Development Goals and we will have the Climate Summit COP21 in December in Paris. The preparations for the UN-Habitat III conference on the development of cities  in  2016 started already this year. These three UN processes could have overarching effects on combating climate change and sustainable urban development for decades to come. Velo-city 2015 in Nantes will also address these issues. Due to these important UN processes and to all what happens nowadays in France, in Europe and worldwide, Velo-city 2015 Nantes will probably be the most important Velo-city since 2003, when Paris hosted the conference”, added the Secretary General of ECF.

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