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Velo-city is a series of cycle planning conferences started in 1980 in Bremen. The Velo-city 1980 also inspired the founding of the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) in 1983 . The conferences are one of the worlds primary forums for the exchange of bicycling expertise.

At the beginning, the conference guests and speakers were mainly bicycle advocates, but today Velo-city is well known for gathering all those who are involved in the policy, promotion and provision for cyclists. This mixture of people, professions, skills and experience is a valuable component of the events success. Velo-city is a market place,the place to be for stakeholders from local, regional and national authorities, politicians, academics, consultants, industrials, and bicycle users.

Velo-city is even more than a conference . It is the occasion for a city to show continuous and lasting efforts to improve cycling in its city. This can take years. For instance Paris, inspired by the Velo-city 2003 conference, launched Velib in 2007, hereby creating world-wide attention.

Hosting cities[]

Conferences have been held in the following locations:

  • 1980 - Bremen, Germany
  • 1984 - London, England
  • 1987 - Groningen, The Netherlands, "Planning for the urban cyclist"
  • 1989 - Copenhagen, Denmark, "How to make people use the bicycle"
  • 1991 - Milano, Italy, "The bicycle: improving mobility and the environment in our cities"
  • 1993 - Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 1995 - Basel, Switzerland, "The bicycle, symbol of sustainable transport"
  • 1997 - Barcelona, Spain
  • 1999 - Graz, Austria and Maribor, Slovenia, website of the conference
  • 2001 - Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland, website of the conference
  • 2003 - Paris, France, "The bycicle as an essential tool for winning the city back"
  • 2005 - Dublin, Ireland, "Delivering the vision"
  • 2007 - Munich, Germany, "From vision to reality"
  • 2009 - Brussels, Belgium, website of the conference "Re-cycling cities"

Next conference will be

Velo-city Global 2010[]

Velo-city Global 2010 aims to show and develop the potential of cycling as an obvious choice on urban transport and a concrete measure in combatting climate change. The European Cyclists' Federation has named Copenhagen as host-city because of its strong cycling tradition and because it will be possible for the participants – with their own eyes – to see that with a continued focus, cycling can achieve a large marked share. Copenhagen shows that growth in the number of cyclists can occur at the same time as economic growth and a high quality of life. By choosing Copenhagen as host-city, the event will benefit from the brand of Copenhagen as the climate change city following the UN conference COP15 in 2009.

Velo-city 2009[]

ECF & Brussels Capital Region were responsible for organizing Velo-city in 2009, when it took place at Tour & Taxis. The site is a former industrial storage depot which has been fully restored and is now used for all sorts of events from major fairs through music festivals to exclusive parties. Velo-city 2009 began on Tuesday 12 May and end on Friday 15 May. Velo-city 2009 was a huge success with more than 750 participants.

Charter of Brussels[]

During Velo-city 2009 last day in the European Parliament, several European cities have signed the Charter of Brussels. By signing the charter, cities commit themselves to invest in bicycle policy as an integrated part of urban mobility. At the same time, the charter is a call on the European Union to promote urban cycling. Up to date list of signing cities can be found here [1]

Velo-city 2009 program[]

Velo-city 2009 had a promising program on offer. As well as a selection of plenary and subplenary sessions with well-known national and international speakers, there has also been two excursions to Liège and Ghent. A permanent exhibition named Expo Velo-city was organized and then on Sunday took place the Brussels traditional bicycle festival, Dring Dring.

Plenary sessions themes are

  • Visions to transport in future cities
  • Intermodal urban transport
  • A forerunner city
  • A climber city
  • Health and cycling
  • Climate change and urban transport
  • Peak oil and cycling
  • Economy and cycling
  • City planning and communication
  • Successful marketing of cycle use
  • Cycling to school
  • What can we learn from the advertising world?
  • Role of Europe
  • Debate with Members of EU Parliament
Expo Velo-city[]

The Expo Velo-city and the Velo-city Conference 2009 in Brussels give an overall idea of all the topics worldwide, with regard to the cycling world. The exhibitors, speakers and participants form the biggest forum for all cycling issues. It’s the biggest demonstration of the members of the cycling world, with representatives from the industry, urban and transport planning institutions, volunteers and politicians. There are 4 Exhibition clusters:

  • Products
  • Cycling infrastructure, expertise + information
  • Cycling friendly world
  • Cycling policy – European bodies, umbrella federations and alliances
Dring Dring[]

Dring Dring is a cycling event that has been organized for the Brussels-Capital Region since 1995 by Pro Velo, bringing together all the Brussels cycling associations (Gracq, Fietsersbond, les Ateliers de la rue Voot, Cyclo). The objectives of this all-bicycle week, taking place in May, are to encourage people to use bicycles more regularly, even inordinately, when travelling in Brussels, and to ensure better standing for cyclists in the city.

Aims of Velo-city 2009[]

By organizing this event, ECF aims at gathering a large range of cycling stakeholders such as local authorities, politicians, industrials, professionals and bicycle users. Being in Brussels added a European value with the implication of European authorities and thus bring cycling on the European Agenda. Velo-city conference creates a network at a European level, generates exchange of information, experience and expertise which permit to highlight, spread and enhance good practices in the field of cycling. Therefore it increases the awareness of the advantages for authorities and for citizens of daily cycling in the field of health, environment or urban transport policy and thus enhances the level of bicycle use.

The Brussels-Capital Region’s main aims for Velo-city are to present a high-quality cycling infrastructure and to obtain renewed recognition for the role of the bicycle within a sustainable intermodal transport policy (cycling in combination with public transport and journeys on foot), along with the positive impact of cycling on health and the environment.

On a regional level, the authorities want Velo-city 2009 to increase the number of cyclists in Brussels by getting as many of the city’s inhabitants to participate in the conference as possible. To do this, several high-profile campaigns and events are being organised to accompany the conference.

External links[]

See also[]

  • Velo Australis : International bicycling conference(s) in the southern hemisphere. Apparently one conference has been held so far, in 1996, in Western Australia. [1]
  • VelOZity : Cycling conference 1999, southern Australia
  • Velo Borealis : Cycling policy in northern regions. The first Velo Borealis International Bicycle Conference was held in Trondheim, Norway, 23-26 June 1998. [2]


  1. Three lessons for a better cycling future, Wardlaw, BMJ 2000;321:1582-1585 ( 23 December ),
  2. Template:Cite web