Smet has high expectations that the Velo-city conference will contribute to make Brussels a cycle-friendly place. “Today, it’s not”, he affirmed. For Brussels this means first of all the development of high-standard cycling infrastructures. The mentality is already there, as the huge success of the annual bicycle ride “Bicycity” (May 18, 2008) and the car free day during the European Mobility Week show. Manfred Neun was able to give the host good hopes: “The Velo-city conferences in Paris and Munich have given them a major push into raising the bicycle modal share. Just look what’s happening in Paris now. Brussels can do the same.” Apart from a real impact on cycling in Brussels, ECF would like to see cycling receiving greater attention at the European political level. Since years the ECF is lobbying for a “European bicycle officer” at the European Commission.
The exact programme of Velo-city 2009 will be developed within the next weeks and months. This will be mainly done by the Management Team. The major target group to visit the conference are city planners, decision-makers, industrials, scientists and users. The last Velo-city conference 2007 in Munich received around 950 participants from 50 countries worldwide.