Dublin City has won a bid to host Velo-City 2019, a major international conference which seeks to encourage cycling for daily transport and recreation.
Dublin wonout against fellow shortlisted city Helsinki after an inspection team from the Europe Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) visited both cities last month. The ECF also looked at factors such as connectivity.
The conference is expected to attract people interested in cycling promotion, including elected officials, cycling campaigners, transport engineers, planners, academics, bicycle industrial figures and others from around the world.
In a joint statement this morning, Dublin City Council and the ECF said: “The bid made a strong proposal with an integrated and collaborative team, and displayed strong political commitment on all levels, from local to national. In addition, Dublin has shown a big push for implementation from a behavioural and infrastructure perspective. The site visit showed the ECF team a clear willingness for collaboration and community engagement. For these reasons, the ECF Board has chosen Dublin as host for its global cycling summit.”
The conference rotates from its Europe origins to a city outside Europe every second year. Next year Velo-city is to be hosted jointly in the cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen in the Netherlands, while it is to take place in Rio de Janeiro in 2018.
Dublin previously hosted the event in 2005, although yearly attendance to the conference has grown since then to reach over 1,500 people from 80 countries the last year it was hosted in Europe.
Commenting when IrishCycle.com reported on the the bid, Colm Ryder, chairman of Cyclist.ie, said: “Dublin Cycling Campaign and Cyclist.ie have long been campaigning to have the Velo City Conference return to Dublin, Dublin City Council responded and jointly hosted the Velo-City 2019 bid with Dublin Cyling Campaign… If we do win out it means a really busy and active two and a half years working on getting full support and making the conference a success. Plaudits to Dublin City Council, and also to Fáilte Ireland for financially agreeing to support the bid process!”
This morning in a statement, Owen Keegan, chief executive of Dublin City Council, said: “Velo-city 2005 proved a catalyst for cycling growth in the city — the number of cyclists in the city increased by 147% since 2005, but also the conference showed that cycling was a real and viable mode of transport for Dubliners. Hosting Velo-city in Dublin in 2019 will accelerate the efforts by Dublin City Council and our partner agencies to further the development of Dublin as a world class cycling city.”
Brendan O’Brien, director of traffic with Dublin City Council said: “Dublin’s theme for Velo-City 2019 is Cycling for the Ages. We aim to encourage cycling by people of all ages, young and old, male and female and to promote the health, environmental, social and economic benefits of cycling. We also want to show the evolution of cycling in Dublin through the ages and into the future.”
Bernhard Ensink, ECF secretary general, said: “We are excited to bring participants from all continents in 2019 to Dublin. Velo-city 2019 Dublin will – as all our Global Cycling Summits do – offer a great opportunity for sharing the experience, knowledge and expertise about the promotion of cycling worldwide.”
Velo-city Series Director, Marcio Deslandes, said of the choice: “Dublin is a great example of a city moving towards a more livable, safe, and active environment for its citizens.”
Excellent, this will give us a louder voice when lobbying the sh!t out of the powers that be. There is a lot of work ahead.
The news was great to receive, but as Stephen above says….lots of hard work ahead to make it a great success! And we will certainly be hoping that it will give impetus to greater and more targeted strategic funding for cycling as a mainstream transport mode, to help move Dublin to a more cycling and people friendly environment.
Hopefully this will force Ross’s hand on providing finance to cycling infrastructure, because it’s the only way it is going to be delivered.