15 June 2010

Velo-City 2010 - Countdown

City of Copenhagen at Velocity
The Copenhagen stand at Velo-City 2009 in Brussels last year.

The Velo-City Global Bicycle Conference 2010 is fast-approaching. The list of participants is long and exciting and it's great to see so many NGOs represented, as well as people working for cities and towns.

The Velo-City teams reports that 180 presentations on cycling from all over the world are on the programme, in the form of sessions, round-table discussions and what not.

Topics include:
- Mega-cities
- Campaigns for reducing short car trips
- Cycling in cold, hilly cities
- Bike-share services
- Green urban development
- Developing cycling in developing countries
- Road safety research
- Cooperation between NGOs and city administrations

There is a list of Plenary Speakers who, according to the Velo-City website, are "Handpicked for their expertise in cycling’s global potentials and challenges, the plenary speakers at Velo-city Global will offer new, valuable and comprehensive insights. The plenary presentations will deal with pertinent questions such as:

- Cycling as quality of life
- Co-benefits of cycling
- The social status of cycling
- Cycling as democracy and freedom
- The global status of cycling
- Creative cycling innovations
- Collaborations for the future

The list of Plenary Speakers features the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard (mayor of the technical and environmental department in Copenhagen), Connie Hedegaard (European Commissioner for Climate Action), Enrique Peñalosa (former mayor of Bogota), Gil Peñalosa (renowned consultant and social marketing strategist),
Jan Gehl (rock star urban planner and architect), Janette Sadik-Khan (Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation), John Whitelegg (visiting Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University), Lake Sagaris (Canadian urban planner and journalist living in Chile), Pan Haixiao (Professor and Director of Land Use/Transport Studies at Tongji University in Shanghai), Dr. Vandana Shiva (world-renowned Indian environmentalist and philosopher). Oh, and me.

The president of the European Cyclists Federation, Manfred Neun, states proudly that it is "The best programme we've ever had".

Where I normally travel about with lectures about marketing bicycle culture and promoting bicycle culture positively, I'll be presenting something quite different and I'm looking forward to it.

I get to wander deep into my own private forest and get back to Bicycle Culture Origins. I'll be sharing my observations as a Bicycle Anthropologist after three and a half years of staring at this thing called Bicycle Culture. Boiling it all down to the core - people. How large numbers of Citizen Cyclists can benefit a city and a society, the aesthetic, the secret marks cycling citizens leave on the urban landscape, the eight postures used by Copenhageners to wait at red lights, the Galapogos Islands of Bicycle Culture - Denmark and Netherlands - and the subtle evolutionary differences between the two, the five senses relating to cycling and suchlike.

It'll be a pleasure to meet so many people working for a better bicycle future, right here in my backyard.

And please... don't forget the Cargo Bike Races on Saturday!


Mark said...

OK, I've said it, I am SO jealous of all the attendants to this event! For those of us who can't make it, Mikael, we're relying on you to bring us the news and happenings and the best of it all.

Good luck with your presentation (sounds excellent, perhaps you can post highlights here for us) and here's hoping the whole conference goes well.

Jealous, jealous, jealous!

Green Idea Factory said...

I will also be blogging from Velo-City. If you can make it to the conference, I would be happy to meet and talk about OPENbike, the winner of one of two first prizes in the Copenhagen Bike Share Design Competition last year.

Anonymous said...

Somewhat surprised you haven't discussed your feelings yet on BP's Deepwater mega-disaster. If this destruction of our food chain,quality of our air and water, beaches, life styles and jobs doesn't convince the public that change is needed, what will?

It's time to use both the carrot and the stick and the latter should be severe. Look forward to reading your report.

sexify said...


As you are the most active bicycle ambassador for the host nation, and as I am going to be based (and getting around by bike) in New Zealand for the next year or so, can I place a request?

Please, please, please can you try to get the conference to issue a firm and official statement against failed but stubbornly ingrained helmet laws, indeed against helmet promotion?

Anything to hopefully get the powers that be in NZ and OZ to finally acknowledge publicly that helmets are not the panacea they were once made out to be.


PS. Todd, I hope you enjoy the conference and I look forward to reading all about it at the G.I.F. :-)

Unity Finesmith said...

However, in the US they are banning cars in town http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10652784