Every city has its own unique cycling culture and diversity, consisting of specific bicycle infrastructure, ridership, cycling practices and policies, bicyclerelated administration and organizations as well as bicycle subcultures. Case studies and approaches shared amongst starter, rising and forerunner cycling cities can help to develop innovative methods of cycling promotion. An exchange of professional findings about mobility groups, as well as gender issues related to transport patterns, is a vital input for bicycle advocacy and administrative work. The understanding of contemporary global cycling cultures, their relationship to social media and the linkages between specific lifestyles and bicycle use are emerging topics for a professional discussion on cycling cultures. Not least, the debate during Velo-city 2013 will encompass the impact and development of social trends in relation to the bicycle, the influences of subcultures on the mainstream (and vice versa), as well as the growing importance of the bicycle as a cultural symbol.
In addition to walking and public transport, cycling is an eco-friendly transport mode with effects on the urban quality of life, the economy and resource use. Therefore, cycling should be observed through a holistic approach, identifying cycling’s potential for the planning and construction of a forward-thinking smart city. Such a professional debate will encompass (amongst other things) strategies for cycling-oriented and sustainable urban development, energy efficiency in regards to mobility, and cycling as an element of intermodal urban transportation. Velo-city 2013 will be a venue for sharing success stories about the integration of public transport and cycling, as well as examples of stakeholder cooperation in transport planning. Participants will discuss trends in urbanisation and sustainable urban development in relation to the bicycle, as well as experiences of the bicycle’s role in public spaces. The debate will also encompass cycling as an emerging sustainable mode of transport and the conflicting interests arising during such a process.
Cycling contributes positively to an individual’s and a society’s economic situation, as substantiated by a growing array of research into cycling and its associated benefits. Cycling as an affordable and highly equitable transport mode has positive and quantifiable impacts on individual as well as societal health. Cycling has a growing importance for the economy in terms of bicycle production as a branch of the green economy, as well as cycle touring as a sustainable form of tourism. A debate on cycling benefits will also focus on the beneficial environmental effects of (increased) cycling, such as impacts on resources and the climate. Most recently, cycling has gained importance as a transport mode in times of crisis, with a correlation between the global economic situation and increased cycling. Moreover, cycling offers the potential for uses beyond transportation, when the bicycle is for example used as a tool of small-scale economies or as a vehicle in humanitarian and social projects.