The international cycling community gathered in Dublin for a week of discussion, debate and creation and sharing of knowledge around what is needed to create a city fit for “Cycling for the Ages”.
The hosts, City of Dublin Council, are a Handshake Future Cycling Capital – they are learning from other cities in the project, and the City of Amsterdam (also in attendance at Velo-city) acts as their mentor.
Four of our Handshake cities had the privilege of presenting at a special plenary session (which featured Rome, Copenhagen, Dublin and Greater Manchester).
A Focus on Partnership and Collaboration
Each speaker gave emphasis to a different element in collaboration, for example:
- Rome – mentoring in Handshake, working closely with Amsterdam as a mentor
- Copenhagen – cross-sector approaches to cycling in the planning of development
- Dublin - international sharing of best practice
- Greater Manchester – sharing and support at the national UK level between active travel commissioners
Fresh eyes met with Dublin’s current infrastructure. This created an energetic debate involving conference delegates and local grass roots campaigners, bringing their thoughts to attention via conference presentations, social media and interviews in the mainstream media.
It was a good week for many further Handshake cities, as Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bordeaux and Helsinki all picked up awards for Top 10 spots in Copenhagenize’s annual Bicycle Index.
This reviews the quality and approach to cycling in 800+ cities worldwide with a population over 600,000.
Greater Manchester’s Chris Boardman also came away with a Leadership Award for Cycling Promotion from Handshake advisors the Danish Cycling Embassy. In addition, a thought-provoking session at the Joint Committee on Climate Action featured one of Greater Manchester's key advisors.
Key Takeaways and Next Steps
What have we learnt from Velo-city? We asked our partners and Twitter followers what they thought. Messages of key importance from the conference included:
- Listening to those experienced in cycling implementation and transferring their advice and knowledge to make things better
- Philippe Crist’s (of the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)) keynote speech on connecting humans, creativity, technology and bicycles in the future city
- Continuing to balance attention on infrastructure, communications, data and governance – all are key parts of Handshake
Twitter conference coverage from delegates can be found by searching for #VC19 and #HandshakeVC.
Handshake will continue its early work with Dublin to confront the challenges that were highlighted, and have already been recognised.
Tackling these is a key driver for Dublin’s participation in Handshake.
Future actions include developing a renewed vision and action plan aimed at understanding and meeting the needs of all parties.
Look out in the coming weeks as we'll publish some more thoughts from our attendees in our News section...