Monday, June 21, 2010

Velo-City Global 2010 Conference opens in Copenhagen

From Morten Lange, Reykjavík on his way to VeloCity 2010.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 22 June, the 2010 Velo-City Global Conference opens in Copenhagen, and will last for 4 days. I can warmly recommend taking a look at the program and abstracts available at the web-site, www.velo-city2010.com I trust that also for people not attending the conference, the programme and abstracts can supply useful pointers to people working in interesting fields, regarding cycling and the South.

There are several workshops focusing on the Global South's experience in cycle-promotion, as this is supposed to be the first Global Velo-City conference. ( But there have been some "predecessors", arranged by "another tribe" : VeloMondial.net )

Vandana Shiva, from India will deliver a plenary talk. Shiva holds a PhD in Physics, is an activist and receiver of the Right Livelihood Award ( the "Alternative Nobel price" ) for work for Indian farmers and biodiversity, amongst other things. In the programme presentation we are told : "Dr Shiva sees the bicycle as an instrument of democracy and as an essential element of green mobility."

Other plenary speakers include former mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, that helped transform transportation in that city.

In a workshop titled "Developing countries collaborating for the future", there will be presentations from ITDP Mexico and UNDP Kenya.

The conference has 940 registered participants, in spite of the fact that only one year has passed since the Velo-City 2009 conference in Brussels. The participant come from about 50 countries, the largest numbers coming from northern Europe and then the rest of the OECD, but also including from South-East Asia, India, China, Africa and Latin America.

The strongest presence of the international press at the conference is French. Journalists from Le Monde and Radio France International are on the list of participants.

Regards / Kvedja
Morten Lange, Reykjavík

P.S. One serious threat to effective and really successful bicycle promotion and uptake in the South is scaremongering, victim blaming, and false helmet promotion ( the dangerisation of cycling ).

And of course when you get helmet compulsion the situation gets even more difficult. All this on the background that no helmet compulsion or promotion regime to date can show any benefit for cyclists, even where helmet usage rose sharply and detailed data are available. ( See e.g. articles by Dorothy L. Robinson and links from the helmet policy area of the ECF web, linked below )

The ECF helmet group will distribute flyers and buttons at Velo-City Global 2010 titled "Ask me why I cycle without a helmet?". See : http://ecf.com/3675_1

# # #

About the author:
Morten Lange describes himself as "as advocate for cycling and other health transport (in my spare time and then some)". He lives, works and pedals in Reykjavik Iceland

Print this article