Velo-city Global 2014 Kicked Off
ADELAIDE, Australia – Yesterday, the premier worldwide cycling meeting kicked off in Australia. Velo-city Global 2014 brings together delegates from all four corners of the planet. The European Cyclist Federation (ECF) organized conference brings together specialized networks of scientists (Scientists for Cycling) and city officials (Cities for Cycling).
The scientists scientists met on Monday to pave the way for an exciting week of all things cycling. ECF’s network meetings one day before the official Velo-city kick-off have become a necessary tradition to warm up and pave the way for the conference that sets the tone of the global cycling agenda.
Scientists 4 Cycling and Cities for Cyclists are networks that were created by ECF as platforms for exchange between policy-makers, advocates, and actors in their respective fields of city planning and science. They meet yearly, before each Velo-city conference, and this year was no exception.
Scientists for Cycling
Scientists for Cycling was held on Campus of the University of South Australia and academics from diverse backgrounds came to share their state of the art centering on topics of cycling culture, cycling promotion, and cycling safety. Prof. Richard Head of the University of South Australia wrote in his opening statement of the colloquium that the meeting’s role is: “To provide the opportunity to share best practices for creating and sustaining bike-friendly and mobile cities.”
Cities for Cyclists
The Cities for Cyclists meeting started off with a spring in its step, with the participants going on a spin around Adelaide with Velo-city conference bikes. They got to see all the landmarks of the city, and most importantly went out to lead by example by using bicycles to get around during their sight-seeing activities. It was also an opportunity to showcase Adelaide’s investment in bike lanes: 35km in the CBD, and they’ve just launched the first segregated bike path recently. Stephen Yarwood, Mayor of Adelaide, pointed out that these bike lanes were created in conjunction with other redesigns, such as the not-so-popular but very effective bus lanes.
The group also took the opportunity to welcome two new cities to the club: Taipei (Taiwan) and Gothenburg (Sweden) have joined the CfC network. Back indoors and after a great excursion, Vienna Vice-Mayor addressed the delegation by giving some insights as to how her city (Velo-city 2013 host) has been growing steadily, at a much higher pace than other cities in the region.
This naturally puts additional stress on mobility and transport. Echoing Yarwood’s statements, she said that to be dynamic city, you have to attract young people and good mobility is part of the attractiveness of the city. Sound bicycle infrastructure is becoming more and more important not only as a mobility imperative, but as a city marketing and attractiveness tool.