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Velo-city 2009

Velo-city 2009

Press Corner


Presentation of the plenary sessions and the speakers



Tuesday 12 May

Plenary 1 | Opening + Introduction to the conference theme RE-CYCLING CITIES

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1A | Opening
  Antonio Tajani – Vice-President of the European Commission – EU Transport Commissioner
  Pascal Smet - Minister for Transport of the Brussels Capital Region (host)
  Manfred Neun -  ECF President


1B | Introducing the conference theme RE-CYCLING CITIES
This plenary session deals with the development priorities of Velo-city 2009. What are the challenges with regard to urban mobility, what will the city of the future look like, what are the characteristics of an urban transport system, and to what extent can the bicycle be a link in the urban transport chain? The challenges of urban development on a global scale, climate change, the environment and health also have a bearing on these issues. This plenary session will define the priority areas of Velo-city 2009. Plenary 1 will be concluded by a presentation of cycling policy in three very different cities: the “forerunner” city of Amsterdam and two promising “climber” cities: Bordeaux and Portland (USA).

Prof. David Banister, University of Oxford


  George Amar, Director, future developments, RATP – Paris
  Jean-Luc de Wilde d’Estmael, strategic planning, STIB/MIVB – Brussels


  Tjeerd Herrema - Deputy Mayor of Amsterdam


  Alain Juppé - Mayor of Bordeaux - Former Prime Minister of France
  Sam Adams - Mayor of Portland - USA


Wednesday 13 May

Plenary 2 | The Benefits of cycling

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This plenary session focuses on the benefits of cycling in the city and on the link to global challenges such as health, climate, oil-dependency and economic development. The WHO deals with the health effects of cycle use. Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (IPCC – United Nations) sketches in broad outline the challenges in the field of urban mobility in relation to the climate change issue, and we focus on the challenge to become less oil-dependent in the post-peak-oil world. These global issues seem to be far removed from the bicycle. This plenary, however, emphasises that sustainable urban mobility in which the bicycle plays a prominent role is one of the cornerstones of the above-mentioned issues. The potential role played by the bicycle for economic development will be examined in the concluding remarks of this plenary.
  Francesca Racioppi - WHO - European Centre for Environment and Health
  Prof. J-P Van Ypersele – IPCC Vice-President United Nations
  Jörg Schindler – Energy Watch Group and ASPO Germany
  Philip Darnton – Chairman, Cycling England


Thursday 14 May

Plenary 3 | Communication and Marketing

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In plenary 2 the question was answered why cycle use is useful within urban mobility. In plenary 3 the emphasis is on the question of how the public can be convinced to use the bicycle for everyday travel. By now everyone knows that cycling is good for your health, that the bicycle is a fast means of transport for short distances, that the bicycle is an environmentally friendly means of transport, and so on. However, this knowledge in the collective memory is still not enough to get people cycling. What can be achieved with communication and marketing? This plenary examines from the points of view of urban development, the bicycle industry and school travel how communication and marketing could have an impact on cycle use. This session will be concluded by Guillaume Vanderstichelen who, as a well-known advertising executive, explains his view on how he would sell the urban cycling ‘product’.

Helle Søholt - Gehl Architects - Copenhagen


  Frank van den Eeden – marketing manager BATAVUS bv
  Paul Robison – Cycling England – Manager Bikeability campaign
  Guillaume Vanderstichelen – founder and inspiration of the Duval Guillaume advertising agency



Friday 15 May

Plenary 4 | The role of Europe + Charter of Brussels

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During the final plenary session the three best Velo-city 2009 posters will be selected.

The theme of the last plenary session will be Europe. What role can Europe play in facilitating cycle use in urban mobility? Antonio Tajani, the EU transport commissioner, will explain which road Europe intends to follow with regard to urban mobility. What are the objectives of the Urban Transport Green Paper, and what measures does the action programme contain for urban cycling? The mayors of various European cities and some members of the European Parliament will give their views on the Urban Transport Green Paper and will explain what role Europe can play in facilitating cycle use in cities.

To conclude Velo-city 2009, the commitment of cities to invest in cycling policies will be confirmed by the signing of the Charter of Brussels. This Charter of Brussels will be signed by the former Velo-city host cities and by a great many other European cities.

  Siim Kallas - Vice-President of the European Commission

Debate with:

   Pascal Smet – Minister for Transport, Brussels Capital Region

   Klaus Bondam – Mayor of Copenhagen

   Antonio Rodriguo Torrijo – Deputy Mayor of Seville

   Margus Hanson – Deputy Mayor of Tartu

   Michael Cramer – MEP – Group of the Greens

   Saïd El Khadraoui – MEP – Socialist Group

   Reinhard Rack – MEP – Group of the European People's Party

  Charter of Brussels