Velo-city opens in the Netherlands - what's in it for the industry?

Carlton Reid
Velo-city opens in the Netherlands - what's in it for the industry?

Velo-city 2017 has kicked off in Arnhem-Nijmegen with sessions on science and cycling. There was also the first conference for Platform for European Bicycle Sharing & Systems, an initiative welcomed by Cycleurope’s President Tony Grimaldi. Velo-city is officially opened tomorrow by the King of the Netherlands.

The Cycling Industry Club, an industry forum led by the European Cyclists’ Federation, has curated a number of industry-specific sessions at Velo-city.

CIC’s director of development Kevin Mayne said: “From new technologies to new policies, we propose a dedicated Cycling Industry Club Agenda for Velo-city 2017 to accompany industry members in discovering the markets of the future. Sessions on pedelecs, cycle highways and the cycle economy are all included in this agenda for a comprehensive perspective on all things cycling industry.

One of these industry-specific sessions was PEBSS, the Platform for European Bicycle Sharing & Systems. This included information on big data, mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), and smart cities.

CIC chairman Tony Grimaldi said: “The CIC warmly welcomes companies with similar objectives; we’re thrilled to spur forward smarter shared bicycle mobility across Europe; it’s a guaranteed accelerator to grow cycling usage everywhere, making it the fulcrum of smart urban mobility.”

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Mayne recommends that industry members go to the numerous sessions on pedelecs and smart mobility solutions in order to give an overview of existing and potential markets in new cycling technologies. There’s also a recommendation to visit some of the cycle infrastructure sessions, including “Cycling in the fast lane” (which it just so happens I’m helping to deliver, more on that later in the week.)

On Friday, Mayne recommends industry members attend the handover of the EU Cycling Strategy the EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc.

Supported by the cycle industry, this strategy aims to bring cycling up to par with other modes of transport in policy and to encourage greater cycling.

The strategy’s mission statement is:

“‘Encouraging more people to cycle more often’ across the EU has the potential to unlock socio-economic benefits worth billions of Euros. Stakeholders from diverse backgrounds have therefore joined forces to develop a blueprint for an EU Cycling Strategy which will recommend objectives and define actions falling within EU competence.”

A letter accompanying the strategy handover has been signed by leading executives from the cycle industry as well as leaders from other businesses, public authorities and civil society. The letter calls upon the European Commission to unlock the potential for creating jobs and decarbonising the transport system by developing a EU Cycling Strategy as part of the Commission Work Programme 2018.

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