1,500 cycling experts expected in Dublin for Velo-city conference

IMAGE: A normal image of rush hour in parts of central Dublin.

Around 1,500 delegates — including council and transport officials, bicycle industry professionals and international journalists covering cycling — are expected to attend the Velo-city conference in Dublin next month, Dublin City Council said yesterday.

From June 25 to 28 Dublin is host the Velo-city conference for the second time, having previously hosted it in 2005.

The four-day conference — with the theme this year of ‘Cycling for the Ages’ — is run by host cities and the European Cyclists’ Federation. It is said by organisers to be the world’s largest conference dedicated to cycling, cycling infrastructure, bicycle innovations and related issues.

International speakers at the conference have been announced as including Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester’s cycling and walking commissioner who is at the forefront of developing a segregated cycle network in the city; Philippe Crist, advisor for innovation and foresight for the International Transport Forum; and Lucy Saunders, creator of Healthy Streets approach which has started to be adopted in London.

Other speakers include Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris with responsibility for transport and public space and president of the ECF; Klaus Bondam, CEO of the Danish Cyclists’ Federation; and Amanda Ngabirano, urban planning lecturer at Makerere University in Kampala and vice president of the World Cycling Alliance in Africa.

While, local speakers include Owen Keegan, CEO of Dublin City Council; Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority; and Orna Donoghue, project manager at the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing.

Topics to be discussed include: “Cycling & Climate Change – the opportunity”, “Cycling Road Space Design – to Share or Segregate”, “Explaining and convincing for a better cycling city”.

In a statement, transport minister Shane Ross said: “I’m very happy to lend my support to this important international conference. It’s an exciting event and it’s great to that Dublin City Council are hosting it. Encouraging and supporting people to walk and cycle is crucial to help meet our climate action challenge, tackling congestion and making our cities more liveable places.”

“We are delighted to host Velo-city 2019 and look forward to interesting and informative discussions from leaders in the cycling world”, said Owen Keegan.

Keegan said: “As part of our ongoing commitment to sustainable transport and delivering on our commitments to combating climate change, construction contracts will be awarded on three major cycleway projects in the city centre this year; the Clontarf to City Centre Cycleway, the Fitzwilliam Street Cycleway and the Royal Canal Way project; while design work is ongoing on the Dodder greenway, Clonskeagh to City Centre, and the remaining sections of the Sutton to Sandycove Route (S2S). With the Liffey cycle route now out for public consultation all of these projects represent an important and exciting future for the city.”

He added: “As a Smart City, we also constantly explore how technology can help increase cycling levels and we have worked in partnership with several companies and organisations trialling unique and smart solutions to promote and encourage cycling,” he said.

The city council is host a ‘Bike Parade’ for delegates on the afternoon of Wednesday June 26. The council said that delegates will travel along the Sutton to Sandycove cycle route towards St Anne’s Park. The delegates will be joined a host of community groups, school children and cycling enthusiasts and there will be free family entertainment and a farmers’ market..

The city council statement added: “To coincide with Velo-city, Dublin City Council in partnership with Cycle Industries Europe and the European Cycling Federation, has announced the ‘Smart Pedal Pitch’, a search for the most innovative cycle tech solutions. Winning entries will get the chance to pitch to a global cycle audience as well as a panel of international judges from the tech and cycling world.”

Registration for the conference is still open at velo-city2019.com/registration — the four day price is €850 or €450 for students. Other options are €450 for a one day pass or €495 for the four days for developing countries attendees.

Meanwhile, the Dutch Cycling Embassy and Cycling Embassy of Denmark have said that they are to run a pre-conference  masterclass featuring Danish and Dutch cycling experts which will highlight best practices from both countries. The masterclass will take place at the Danish Embassy in Dublin from 11am to 6pm on Monday, June 24 and costs €190.

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

3 Comments

  1. Good to see the conference coming back to Dublin. I hope the organisers ensure that the opportunity to showcase Irish based sustainable travel projects is maximised.

  2. Its amazingly expensive to attend which will surely limit participation by local enthusiasts.I note Shane Ross is happy to loan his support,presumably he will take it back as soon as the conference ends.

  3. Cycling Without Age Ireland will be there! I will present a poster presentation on CWA on Tuesday, 25 June at 12.45 pm. I will also have a trishaw at the event to demonstrate to everyone, and will take part in the Cycle Parade on the Wednesday.
    Also, On Thursday, 27 June, I will present a poster presentation on the S2S at 12.45 pm. All welcome.
    My thanks to DLR Council for sponsoring my attendance, as I am a volunteer for both these initiatives.

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