Cycle Superhighways is a robust cooperation between 23 municipalities and the capital region of Denmark. In the course of a few years the partnership has realized the vision of a well- developed network of cycle superhighways that help limit congestion and increase sustainable transport. By Klaus…Read article
Cycling conferences, national as well as international, provide excellent opportunities for inspiration and networking, and also create a framework for sharing best practice and political visions and strategies.
By Klaus Bondam, Danish Cyclists’ Federation
Starting in the year 2008 the Danish Road Directorate, an agency under the Danish Ministry of Transport, Building and Housing, has held an annual two day national cycling conference during which projects, campaigns and new knowledge are presented and discussed. In recent years the conference has been organized in cooperation with Danish Cyclists’ Federation.
The Cycling Conference provides an excellent overview of the numerous activities taking place nation-wide. The participants are primarily local government workers and other relevant players involved in bicycle transport planning. Occasionally commercial exhibits have been included where relevant producers present their products and services.
As of 2019 the Danish National Cycling Conference will be held every other year, alternating with the Danish Road Directorate’s day-long conference, Cykeldag. Cykeldag’s primary focus is on cooperation between the Directorate and the individual local authority, for example on such issues as applications for bike pool funding or project assessment.
Danish as well as international speakers are invited to both the national Cycling Conference and the Road Directorate’s Cykeldag.
The two Danish traffic conferences, the Road Association’s Vejforum, and Aalborg University’s Trafikdage, include bicycle transport.
In addition to the actual conferences, bicycle traffic information is also available through Mobilitetsnetværket coordinated by Rambøll, and the Danish municipal cycling council.
Many countries are increasingly arranging national cycling conferences and there is a great deal of experience- sharing among countries, especially at European conferences. Danish experts are often invited as speakers in Europe, through the Danish Cyclists’ Federation, for example.
Planners are increasingly beginning to realize that everyday cycling is an instrument for tackling a number of challenges facing modern society. This includes CO2 emissions, congestion, public health, and livable cities. Consequently the cycling theme plays an important role at many conferences, not merely the traditional cycling ones.
A major breakthrough took place at the ITS World Congress 2018 in Copenhagen, a conference on intelligent transport systems, where cycling was given a central place. Several Danish speakers pointed to the bicycle as an intelligent solution to a number of urban challenges, and as a transport mode with enormous development potential, for example in connection with the electrification of transport systems and new ways of combining transport modes.
The annual, international ECOMM mobility conferences include many presentations about bicycle traffic.
The Velo-City conferences
Everyday cycling is also increasingly being included in broader conference contexts internationally, but the annual Velo-City conference remains the international hub of the global communication of cycling solutions. However, conferences such as the Winter Cycling Congress are also beginning to attract a greater turnout.
The first Velo-City conference was held in Bremen, Germany in 1980. The conference was the forerunner of the European Cyclists Federation (ECF). Among the initiators was the Danish Cyclists’ Federation.
Starting in 2010 Velo-City has held a biennial conference with a global perspective, Velo-City Global. The first global Velo-City conference was held in Copenhagen in 2010, but was subsequently held at several locations outside Europe, most recently in Rio de Janeiro in 2018.
There is traditionally a heavy Danish representation at both Velo-City and Velo-City Global, often including an exhibition stand from the Cycling Embassy of Denmark. Every year since 2009 during Velo-City, the Cycling Embassy of Denmark has awarded the Leadership Award to an outstanding individual or organization for their work to promote cycling.