Pre Con

The European Cyclists’ Federation Takes Their Annual Event to the Netherlands

How do you meet expectations in the bicycling capital of the world?

2016-handover

Event Details

June 13–17, 2017

Arnhem-Nijmegen, Netherlands

Overview

Presented by the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), Velo-City 2017 is expected to draw 1,700 to 2,000 engineers, architects, city planners, environmentalists, bicycle-industry representatives, and others “involved in policy, promotion, and the provision of cycling facilities and programs,” according to Zoé Kruchten, ECF’s Velo-city series and global policies coordinator. 

CHALLENGES

Velo-city 2017 is being held not just in the Netherlands — the bicycling capital of the world — but in the Arnhem-Nijmegen region, where the cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen are separated by about 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), although they’re linked by a sophisticated bicycling net-work. “This means an extra challenge regarding logistics,” Kruchten said, “but it also encourages delegates to really experience the region and its innovative infrastructure. In a sense, they get two conference experiences in one.”

INITIATIVES

This year’s theme is “The Freedom of Cycling,” with five sub-themes: “People,” “Bikenomics,” “Infrastructure,” “Urban Planning,” and “Governance.” ECF  will cover a lot of ground — topically and literally, with an agenda that includes a half-day excursion to Amsterdam. “Once [attendees] arrive [in Amsterdam], they’ll be given expert-guided bicycle tours there on three themes to understand the workings of cycling in the big city — what works, what doesn’t, what are the latest innovations,” Kruchten said. “It is an exciting part of the program, as it will give our international delegates a very tangible experience of cycling in the Netherlands. 

Christopher Durso

Christopher Durso is executive editor of Convene.