· Conference themes

Main theme: Leading the Transition

The fundamental question about how we want to live in the future has become unavoidable.  How should our children grow up and experience the world?  For years the world has been falling from one crisis to the next: the global economic crisis, the banking sector crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic, the energy supply crisis and above all the climate crisis that endangers the very fundamentals of our existence …

All these issues are significantly linked to the transport sector as 25% of CO2 emissions come from transport, most of this from private motor vehicle use. We need to understand how and why we need to urgently change! Cycling and other sustainable modes are key to reducing CO2 emissions and the dependence on fossil fuels for a better environment and quality of life. The design of our future mobility systems and the fair allocation of public space are crucial for the sustainable development of our societies. We need societies that will manage resources efficiently and be resilient enough to overcome future crises. Growth alone should not be an end in itself and the well-being of people has to be at the centre of all community action. There is also a broader social justice dimension as poorer communities are more likely to live in cities with lower air quality, with more transport safety risk, next to big roads separating them from amenities. Prioritising transport systems for cycling rather than for heavy privatised motor traffic means democratising the transport sector and making mobility accessible to all.

The good news is: Change is happening. People-centred and climate-friendly mobility systems are being implemented all over the world, but many influential stakeholders resist and challenge any attempts to give back space to people at the expense of private cars. Now is the time to push the transition in the right direction and take the necessary steps for a more equitable and sustainable planet, one that is able to cater for the needs of generations yet to be born.

The bicycle is a simple solution to the world’s most complicated problems. We need breakthrough decisions for strong policies and planning practices, a fair redefinition of public space, trusting collaboration amongst all stakeholders, integrated future mobility systems and green economic prosperity.

Let’s lead this transition together!

· Conference subthemes

— Strong leadership for action —
Lead to the future

Every successful idea needs people to drive it forward, idea generators who recognize the opportunities of the future, planners who turn ideas into projects and strong personalities who lead the way with courage and enthusiasm.

How can societies, decision-makers, administrations and companies be convinced of the mobility transition towards more cycling and active mobility?

How do we get political decision makers on board and how much can be achieved in one election cycle? How can strong leadership empower people to act for change? And what does it look like?

This subtheme will address the importance of ambitious, forward-thinking, and brave leadership across the transport sector and beyond. We are looking for visionary leaders at all levels who are not afraid to listen, take action and change minds.

— Redefining public space —
Think ahead

Urban and regional planning are at a turning point. For decades, public space has been dominated by fossil-fuel vehicles and a tightly meshed road network geared for driving.

The focus is now on land use justice, sustainability, health, climate resilience and livable cities: urban planning is undergoing a paradigm shift!

Success indicators such as the happiness of people show the need to put citizens and their demands for quality of life, open space, health and mobility at the centre of urban planning.

This subtheme will focus on rethinking the streetscape and building the infrastructure that will lead to more cycling!

— Working together towards equitable environments — Change the mindset

Over decades, people have gradually accepted the almost complete takeover of public space by car traffic. Cycling and walking have been marginalised, children can no longer play on the streets, and open public spaces are few and far between.

Yet it is precisely the views of local people, their everyday experiences, their living environment and their needs that provide the framework for decisions and political action.

The transition to sustainable active mobility is also a tool to foster social justice. Promoting a transport system for powerful motorised private vehicles will lock-in social and economic injustice – cycling provides a key to unlock it.

This subtheme will show the power of collaboration between citizens, advocates, public authorities and all stakeholders on the way towards more inclusive, healthy, and equitable environments.

— Creating mobility systems of the future now —
Act consistently

Innovation, new mobility options and the claim for more liveable cities are both an opportunity and a challenge for decision-makers.

How can the mobility revolution succeed? How do technical innovation and sustainability go hand in hand? What measures are maybe not new, but actually working?

How do we design an integrated and sustainable mobility system? How do we offer citizens accessibility without the need to use (or even own) a car?

Measures to control private car traffic, usage and ownership need to be considered and the limited efficiencies of private electric automated vehicles need to be exposed.

This subtheme will explore which measures and tools are effective, and how new technologies and services ranging from MaaS to cargo bike sharing will lead the way towards a sustainable mobility system!

— Towards climate neutral economies —
Work green

Sustainable economic activity is only possible with investments in carbon-reducing and less polluting solutions.

What answers do active mobility and cycling offer for a sustainable economic recovery?

More cycling will make us less energy dependent, generate employment, help tackle the climate crisis and alleviate health budgets. It can play a key role in creating new green jobs in a range of diverse sectors and thus contribute significantly to the transition towards green economies.

This subtheme will position cycling and active mobility at the core of the shift towards thriving climate-neutral economies. It will also address the role of cycling tourism in local economies.