Seville has been named by the European Cyclist Federation as the host city for the 2011 instalment of the Velo City conference.
Though previously an area that favoured the car, the City has seen a vast infrastructure change which has brought about a significant increase in cycling, so much so that it has been named the 'cycling capital of Spain'.
In just three years the Infrastructures for Sustainability department, a part of the Seville City Council with their Steering Plan for Bicycles (2007-2010), created a fully segregated cycle tracks system of more than 120 km length, ten-folding the daily cycle usage, from 6,000 to 60,000 trips a day.
This means that almost seven per cent of all journeys with a vehicle are made by bicycle today and 30 per cent of these ‘new’ cyclists actually switched from their cars. And as research showed, many use one of the 2500 SEVici rental bikes, provided by the JC Decaux system. In effect, this ranks Seville as the city with the highest use (+25.000 trips a day) of a rental bike fleet, topping in all of the other 63 city locations that currently offer the rental bike system.
Dr. Bernhard Ensink, series director Velo-city and secretary general of ECF adds: “The four theme areas for Velo-city 2011 will be centering on the overall goal on how the bicycle can be introduced as a means of transport in cities, making them healthier to live in and improving general quality of life. Many examples will be shared on how to change mobility habits and increase the use of bicycles. And how public investment can contribute to sustainable mobility, and how greater use of the bicycle can therefore contribute to the economy and social wellbeing - in short - enhancing quality of life in cities.”
The ECF organised conference is now scheduled to take place in Seville, from March 23rd to 25th. Topics such as health, education, efficiency of investment, economic impact and related employment are discussed at the annual meet.