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Velo-city Global Conference to Take Place in Taipei

Velo-city Global Conference to Take Place in TaipeiThe pride of Taiwan, Taipei announces a first in Asia! Due to its YouBike system and bicycle-friendly environment, Taipei stood out among the many green cities last year and became the first Asian city awarded the honor of hosting the next Velo-city Global cycling conference. In February of 2016, delegates from 50 countries will meet in Taiwan to rekindle its international reputation as a “bicycle kingdom.”

Velo-city Global is a large multinational cycling conference organized by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF). Each year, a green and environmentally-friendly city is selected to host the event. In previous years, cities and countries such as Amsterdam, Holland, Vancouver, Canada, Nantes, France, Adelaide, Australia, and Vienna, Austria have served as hosts. Velo-city Global is a lively and diverse conference that attracts global bicycle enthusiasts in many fields, spanning engineering, planning, architecture, research, policy, and education for discussions and exchanges on topics such as the joint promotion of bicycle tourism, urban development, design policies, etc.

Velo-city Global 2016 will be held next year from February 27 to March 1.In May of 2014 at the ECF event, Taipei sought to be the host city for Velo-city Global. Some city representatives questioned whether Taipei would be a suitable location for cycling development because of its rainy subtropical climate and complex transportation environment. However, after coming to understand that Taipei has a fine bicycling environment and has successfully implemented the YouBike public bicycle system, representatives from every country were impressed and agreed that Taipei should be the first city in Asia to host Velo-city Global.

Mayor Makes Cycling Trip to HsinchuVelo-city Global 2016 will be held from February 27 to March 1 in 2016 in conjunction with the world famous Taipei International Cycle Show and the Tour de Taiwan. It will also integrate the IBDC and d&i awards in the holding of a bicycle design exhibition. The conference will welcome delegates from 50 cities, including Tokyo, Seoul, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Helsinki. The Taipei City Government will also collaborate with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (經濟部), the Tourism Bureau of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (交通部觀光局), the Sports Administration of the Ministry of Education (教育部體育署), industry members, and NGOs.

To welcome the members of the cycling community to this international event, the Sports Administration of the Ministry of Education organized a selection process for the top ten bike paths in Taiwan. Taipei’s riverside bikeways, which were created with the goal of becoming world-class accessible cycling routes, were among those selected and won Taiwan’s only special accessibility award. To promote Velo-city Global 2016, in addition to appearing at international press conferences with ECF Secretary-General Bernhard Ensink, representatives from participating countries, Giant founder and chairman King Liu, and other important industry representatives, government officials and scholars, Taipei Mayor Ko Wenje personally led a cycling tour of Taipei along a nearly 70-kilometer route that took about four hours to finish.

The main conference theme for Velo-city Global 2016 next year is “Evolution of Cycling,” and the five sub-themes are urban transitions, moving lifestyles, sustainable economy, sharing societies, and design in motion. It is estimated that this event will attract 1,000 cycling enthusiasts from countries all over the world and a total of more than 6,000 people who will jointly participate in a series of events. The Department of Transportation (交通局) notes that by hosting Velo-city Global, Taipei City hopes to create a safer and more comfortable bicycle-friendly environment. It also hopes to move towards being a bicycle friendly city while demonstrating the strength of Taiwan’s bicycle industry to the world and to drive the economic development of the bicycle industry.

Taipei has a very comfortable and safe bicycling environment.The core topics on the agenda for the four-day conference will be “sustainable urban development,” “cycling and lifestyle,” “economy and industry,” and “design”. Approximately 20 noteworthy speakers will be invited from Japan, Belgium, Denmark, and India. In addition, there will be 50 discussion sessions covering topics related to the field of smart transportation, such as cycling and smart cities, technological design, and software applications, to create new technology for the future of transportation. There will also be seminars with representatives from Chinese cities, such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hangzhou, so that cities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait can learn from one another and promote opportunities for exchanges and collaborations related to cycling.

Velo-city Global 2016: http://www.velo-city2016.com/index.php/en/

Source: TAIPEI