Nantes, 15 June 2015-- UN-Habitat participated in the “Velo-City 2015 Conference, held in Nantes, France from 2-5 June 2015, organised by the “European Cycling Federation” (ECF). Widely recognized as a major global platform for the exchange of visions, knowledge, expertise and good practices, ECF’s “ Velo City “ conference series promotes the integration of cycling in the relevant public policy sectors including transport planning, land development, public health, education, environment, economy, energy and human rights.
Velo City 2015 saw the participation of over 1500 people from 80 countries. The conference highlighted the importance of cycling as a form of “Active Transport” that can not only improve urban mobility but also promote health. Senior government officials who participated in Velo City 2015 included Ms. Gisela Splett, Secretary of State of Baden–Württemberg, Germany, Ms. Conny Bieze, Regional Minister of Transport, Province Gederland ( The Netherlands) and Mr. Dominique Lebrun, Interministerial Coordinator for Cycling Development in the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy.
During a plenary and the closing session of the event, Andre Dzikus, Coordinator Urban Basic Services Branch, UN-Habitat, spoke about the shift in policies required for promoting cycling based on economic incentives and how people value environmental sustainability.
He also outlined innovative financing mechanisms such as “value sharing” that can support investments in infrastructure for cycling and walking. Furthermore, he mentioned how the new paradigm of sustainable urban mobility - emphasizing compact and mixed land use and accessibility as the goal of all transportation - is expected to be reflected in the Habitat III conference to take place in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.