Bordeaux hosts Immersive Symposia

Author: Clémence Burgue and Laura Schubert

Handshake Future Cycling Capital Bordeaux played host this week to a Handshake delegation from Amsterdam. Consisting of elected officials, technicians and experts, the visitors were invited to provide feedback on the cycling progress made in Bordeaux.

Ranked sixth in the world on the Copenhagenize Index 2019 of Bicycle Friendly Cities, Bordeaux has already made impressive progress towards its goal of becoming a Cycling Capital. In 2021 alone, the city expanded its rental bicycle fleet, created additional bicycle parking and gave cycling and active mobility a starring role during it's European Mobility Week programming

The meeting, dubbed the Bordeaux Immersive Symposia, spanned multiple days - time which was spent both on and off the bicycle! The delegation and their city hosts cycled 12km across the city in order to observe recent developments by Bordeaux Métropole. The group then sat down to discuss specific topics, like infrastructure and bicycle parking, as well as a keen interest to further develop multimodality options (train/bicycle) within the city. After this, the Amsterdam experts provided their first impressions and advice. Within the scope of the Handshake project, Amsterdam (a Cycling Capital) acts as a mentor for Bordeaux (a Future Cycling Capital).

Local cycling advocacy groups which were also in attendance at the meeting, such as Vélo-Cité, hope to see greater reduction of the prioritization of cars within the city.

Seizing the momentum behind the gathering, Florent Coignac from Bordeaux Metropole presented the third (ambitious!) metropolitan cycling plan. The plan was approved by the Metropolitan Council in late November 2021.

On the final evening, a public screening of the movie Together we cycle, took place in company of the movie maker, Gertjan Hulster. The projection was followed by a debate which allowed the public to ask questions to the Dutch delegation and discuss Bordeaux’s cycling situation.

The Symposium ended with various presentations including one on the ReVE project (the future cycling highways network) and its specificities by Claire Shreiber from Bordeaux Métropole.

In addition to the rich and inspiring exchanges, the elected representatives, and civil servants of Bordeaux Métropole were able to measure the efforts already made and those to be pursued on its way to become a cycling capital.

Watch highlights from the Symposia here.

The local news included an interview from the Symposia on their nightly news. Check it out here, at the 15 minute mark (in French only).


Image by: Florent Coignac

Image by: Velo Mondial

This project has received funding from the European Union‘s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement no 769177.

The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the CIVITAS Handshake project and in no way reflects the views of the European Commission.