Today, Tuesday June 12th, Velo-city officially started! With over 400 delegates from all over the world, Velo-city is one of the top conferences in the field of cycling. During the conference, a large delegation of Dutch Cycling Experts is represented in the Dutch Cycling Pavilion.
This pavilion is realised with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Works, the Province of Gelderland, the region Arnhem-Nijmegen, Folkersma Routing and Sign, Loendersloot Groep and Royal Haskoning DHV.
The conference kicked-off with the plenary opening session setting the tone for the conference. At lunchtime, a Networking Lunch was organized in the Dutch Cycling Pavilion. The lunch, sponsored by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management attracted many people interested in Dutch Cycling.
During lunch, Tosca van der Zwaag of Folkersma Routing and Sign announced that they will donate €1.500,- to a local project focused on providing bikes to local people, thus providing at least five persons with a bike. During the presentation, the Ministry and Dutch Cycling Embassy announced that together they will double the donation!
Another big announcement was made by the cycling team of the Dutch Ministry: an additional amount of €100 million will be reserved for bike parking facilities in order to attract people towards cycling. The Netherlands is still looking for ways to further promote cycling. This additional budget emphasizes that! The conference continued with a number of sessions and a networking/welcoming reception.
Following the successful first day, Velo-city 2018 entered its second day in Rio de Janeiro! It featured a number of interesting talks and the Velo-city tradition of the Mass Bike Parade: over 400 people on their bikes through the city of Rio!
During the morning, Dutch experts Sjors van Duren, Geert de Leeuw and Lisette Hoeke shared their experience about project CHIPS. This project, focusing on innovation for fast cycling routes, is a collaboration between NHTV and Royal Haskoning DHV, aiming at the development and improvement of fast cycling routes in the Netherlands.
The second ‘Dutch’ session of today was a special Dutch Cycling Embassy session, about new ways of looking at urban planning, from both a public (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management) and private (Folkersma Routing & Sign) perspective.
In the late afternoon it was time for the tradition of the Mass Bike Parade: over 400 people rode their bikes through the city of Rio de Janeiro, through streets which were closed down for normal traffic. The Mass Bike Parade always proves to be an amazing event, giving people a sense of streets which are not occupied by cars all the time; freedom in its purest form!
The day was concluded by a Dutch Dinner, a joint dinner for the Dutch delegates.
On June 13th, the Velo-city entered its third day! Amongst many other sessions, the Dutch Cycling Embassy and the Cycling Embassy of Denmark joint forces in a forum discussion about differences in cycling policies in Denmark and the Netherlands.
Together with delegates from the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and the Province of Gelderland, the Dutch Consul Mr. Roland Martin, joined the panel to share his experience with cycling in Brazil.
Isabela Ledo, an expert from Royal Haskoning DHV from the Netherlands hosted another session, addressing the topic of bicycle parking in her session. In the afternoon, a network reception was organized in the Dutch Cycling Pavilion. All visitors of Velo-city were invited for drinks and bites in an informal setting.
Parallel to the conference, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro hosted a mayor-session, which was attended by Mrs. Harriet Tiemens, Alderman of Nijmegen and Cecile de Boer of the city of Arnhem. During this session, key decision-makers exchanged ideas and discussed the topic of cycling together.
On Friday June 15th, the final day of Velo-city 2018 was already there! During this final day of Velo-city, a number of highlights were organized, concluded with a preview of the Velo-city 2019 edition, which will be hosted in Dublin!
Dutch expert Erik Tetteroo shared his view on city planning, stressing the importance of focusing on developing cities around train stations with proper cycling connections in order to enlarge the reach of the stations. He also spoke in another session about Tour de Force, the National Bicycle Agenda of the Dutch Government.
Dutch expert Jasper Homrighausen of RHDHV elaborated on the importance of Orgware in his session. It is quite often underestimated what the importance is of collaborating when striving for improving cycling conditions.
Harriet Tiemens, alderman of the City of Nijmegen joined a plenary panel discussion about cycling from the local government perspective. Political figures from different parts of the world joined the discussion on perception of the bicycle and the role it should have.
The day was concluded by symbolically handing over the organization of Velo-city to the City of Dublin, who will organize the edition of 2019! As part of the ceremony, both a samba band and an tapdance group performed on stage, a great way to close the event and get in the mood for next year’s edition! Off to Dublin!
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