BICY – Final Conference Prague „Bicycling Advances in Central Europe“ (CZ)
The final European Conference of the Central Europe project BICY – Cities and Regions of Bicycles, took place in Prague, on 17th January 2013. It was characterized by an amazing spirit of optimism despite a rather limited support for cycling from national and European bodies.
Already the first presentations from Czech participants made it clear that even the dire situation in many Czech cities, where a lack of infrastructure has serious and sometimes fatal consequences for cyclists – can’t keep Czechs from cycling Daniel Mourek, the Vice President of the ECF and cycling advocate stated that “The Czechs are cycling more than ever!”
It seems that all over Europe the crisis is viewed as a chance and cyclists have the power and the will to promote this form of active transport in a self-organised, bottom-to-top manner.
The Bicy project has developed a trans-national strategy to promote cycling in Central European Cities and Regions and Jörg Schweizer and Jason Meggs from the University of Bologna (IT) sent a clear message to cities: more infrastructure leads to more cycling and only 10 cm of bike routes per citizen can increase the share of urban bike trips by 2%. Also, once you’ve decided to invest in infrastructure, don’t waste time! The quicker you get more people to cycle the higher the economic benefit and the more lives you will save!
The presentations from Helena He?imovi? (City of Koprivnica, HR) and Karl Reiter (FGM-AMOR, AT) inspired the audience because they confirmed that change is indeed possible when you follow your vision of an active and sustainable mobility and make cycling part of a city’s identity and culture that everyone can be proud of.
But also 8 other cycling-related EU projects had the chance to share their results and lessons learnt and to contribute in the discussion on how to advance bicycling in Central Europe even further.
The presentations of the conference are available on the BICY website
Contact: Susanne Wrighton
BICY Implemented in the Central Europe Programme (www.central2013.eu) is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).