Oh Vienna… Only Vienna, only Vienna, just you alone. The Austrian capital city seems to have inspired numerous songs – from Ultravox to Falco to even Long Island resident Billy Joel. But in 2013 the city that was known for musicians – FYI: Mozart moved there but wasn’t actually born there – could become a Velo-City. While it might not rival Amsterdam as Europe’s most bicycle-friendly city, the Velo-City Conference, organized by the European Cyclists’ Federation, will hold its annual event in Vienna next June.
Already Vienna is looking to become more cycle-friendly as well, as it is planned to increase the share of cycling in urban traffic from currently six to ten percent by 2015.
“Vienna is the city of music and culture. With ‘The Sound of Cycling’, this Viennese speciality is to become part of the Velo-city Conference. Along with the classic themes of music and theatre, for several years Vienna has been establishing its own bicycle cultures that are becoming more and more visible. Thus bicycles are not only used with growing frequency as a healthy and ecologically sound means of transport, but also transforming into an element of cultural life in the Austrian capital”, said Maria Vassilakou, Vice Mayor of the City of Vienna.
In the coming year, the main focuses of Velo-city in Vienna will be cycling cultures, cycling-friendly cities and the personal benefits of cycling for the individual.
“At every Velo-city Conference, we add a new, important dimension to the cycling policy agenda. In Vienna, the municipal administration and ECF will emphasise the element of culture. Culture is an important complement to the aspects of traffic, environment, health, energy, economy and children, which were key thematic areas of previous conferences”, said ECF President Manfred Neun.
In addition to numerous expert presentations, network meetings and discussions, one week of cycling tours, movie nights, a bicycle picnic, a bicycle fashion show, bicycle races and many other events will make Vienna THE bicycle hotspot for all conference participants as well as for the city’s population at large.