Earlier this year, ECF welcomed a delegation from Turkey keen to find out more about developing national strategies and cycle route networks. With the major extension to EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route to Izmir recently approved it seems that cycling is taking off in Turkey!
Turkey has begun to write a new national cycling strategy and to plan for the creation of a 6,000 km long national cycle network. ECF was therefore honoured to support this ambitious work by receiving a team of experts largely from Ankara, the Turkish capital.
This interdisciplinary team, involving the Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation, the Department of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture of Bilkent University (Ankara), and On Tasarım, an urban design and landscape architecture company based in Istanbul, came together to design and implement Turkey’s National Cycling Master Plan.
To this end, ECF’s Fabian Küster (Senior Policy Officer) and Holger Haubold (Intellectual Property & Data Collection Director) shared their expertise on the key elements for drawing a successful National cycling strategy and demonstrated the manifold economic benefits of cycling tourism and more cycling inclusive environments.
This visit also enabled the Turkish project team to get an introduction to the EuroVelo network, the European Certification Standard and developing national cycle routes from Ed Lancaster, Senior Policy Officer for Cycling Tourism and Regional Policy. Some routes are already established in Turkey with two EuroVelo routes now visiting Turkey: EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail and EuroVelo 8 – Mediterranean Route. The latter only following a decision of the ECF Board!
Morning seminars were followed by an afternoon cycling visit around Brussels led by Ed Lancaster and Jesús Freire, ECF Business Development Director, for demonstration of local infrastructure, cycling planning best-practices, signing and methodologies.
For ECF, this meeting was an occasion to develop new links with a growing network of Turkish stakeholders on cycling planning through these fruitful exchanges. As a European leading advocate for cycling, ECF is grateful to be able to share its know-how with institutions and organisations involved in cycling development.