King of Holland opens Velo-City to record numbers

The King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander has opened the 2017 Arnhem – Nijmegen Velo-City conference, with record numbers attending the first day of the cycling mobility and best practice event.

In one of the opening speeches, Mayor of Nijmegen Hubert Bruls said: “Arnhem and Nijmegen have known for a long time that to improve quality of life you must make room for cycling. We are proud to be a cycling region.”

That is the theme of the European Cyclists’ Federation event, now in its 27th year. This year’s conference focuses on ‘The Freedom of Cycling’. Governance, infrastructure, people, bikenomics and urban planning are the main topics on the table. The Dutch story and the relation between health and sustainability will also be explored in numerous sessions.

Over 1,500 delegates arrived for the first day to attend a record number of seminars hosted by over 260 speakers. In total, 107 sessions, including 60 outdoor talks and excursions feature in the schedule, giving visitors the chance to study best practice cycling infrastructure in person. Furthermore, The expo at the Vereeniging houses a 100 different booths from exhibitors from all over the world.

Program highlights at this year’s event include the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and global activist, Shannon Galpin, who has been working and traveling in Afghanistan throughout the past decade to spearhead projects in Afghanistan for women’s rights. Local Professor Masi Mohammadi heads the research group ‘Architecture in Health’ at HAN University of applied sciences, and will give his insight in urban planning and how this can be used to stimulate people to active mobility and cycling. The mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen will tell us about the very recent decision to ban all car parking from the city of Oslo and spend millions on new cycling roads to keep the city livable.

You can follow the event live here.