The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is pleased to announce that the host city for Velo-city 2018 is Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio, being the host city of the World Cup in 2014 and of the Olympics in 2016, will now also be host of ECF’s annual global summit on cycling Velo-city, the largest international bicycle planning conference. ECF looks forward to intensifying its collaboration with the City, which is a member of ECF’s city network ‘Cities for Cyclists’ by organizing Velo-city 2018 in Rio. “After taking Velo-city from Europe, to North America, Australia, and Asia, the ECF Board made an unanimous decision to have a South American edition of Velo-city: and Rio was the clear choice” according to ECF President Manfred Neun.
Rio has a population of 6.5 million, making it the biggest city to hold a Velo-city conference since Velo-city London in 1984. With its complex geography and strong social and urban pressures, Rio de Janeiro is an interesting case-study for cycling and sustainablemobility. Since 2012, Rio has made a conscious effort regarding sustainable transportation and bicycling. This has come in the form of the construction of bicycle lanes (such as the downtown Ciclo Rotas Project), a bicycle sharing scheme (Bike Rio, in partnership with Bank Itau), and a shared vision alongside civil society to promote bicycle use in Rio over the next 10 years (Vision 2025).
All this plus more made Rio one of three Brazilian cities to win the Sustainable Transport Award in 2015. In 2018, the world will descend on Rio not for football or athletics but for cycling and transportation planning. “I am extremely confident that Marcio Deslandes, ECF’s Velo-city Series Director, will play a key role in organizing the right mix of the international themes and Brazilian topics as he grew up in Rio and will provide the bridge between our association and the City government” says ECF Secretary-General Dr. Bernhard Ensink.
ECF’s goals in Rio are the following:
- To showcase Rio’s leadership in Brazil and South America regarding cycling as part of a strategy for social inclusion and changing the city into a more sustainable and livable city
- To bring the best experts and best practice examples from all over the world together in Rio to merge the knowledge, expertise and inspirationfrom all other continents with the South American and Brazilian experiences
- To give a push worldwide to the implementation of strategies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the COP21 agreements and city development goals that will be discussed at Habitat III by creating cycling friendly policies in all countries
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