Psst, want to go to a world-class cycling conference right on your back door? In case you hadn’t heard, the Velo-City Global cycling conference series is coming to Adelaide in May 2014.
Velo-City is something of an institution in cycling circles. Typically held over four days, it is an incredibly diverse celebration of everyday cycling in all its facets, from facility design to cycling promotion, health effects, integrating with public transport, cycle culture, economic benefits, bike design, and so on. Although initially developed as a largely European affair by the European Cycling Federation, in recent years they have opted to host a “Global” version of the conference, typically outside of Europe, every second year. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the 2010 (Copenhagen, Denmark) and 2012 (Vancouver, Canada) versions, and they’ve just held the 2013 event in Vienna, Austria.
Velo-City has also been quite good at providing more innovative ways of presenting things instead of just traditional lecture presentations. For example, in Copenhagen I was introduced to both “roundtable” sessions (where someone hosted a small group of people around a table) and short “speed dating” sessions (where delegates moved between numerous presenters every 8 minutes or so). The other great thing is the chance to actually get out and experience the host city in all its cycling glory; invariably you can get a hire bike as part of your registration and various “field trips” are organised.
Adelaide is slowly developing itself as a cycle-friendly city, particularly under its current cycle-keen Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood (who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times). As a sister city of Christchurch, Adelaide has a special link with us here, and there may even be an opportunity to present a lot of info about how Christchurch is rebuilding itself as a cycle-friendly city.
Would you like to present something at Velo-City? The Call for Abstracts is now open, and you have until Fri 11th October to submit your idea. Unlike some other conferences, you don’t need to prepare a full detailed conference paper; just a page or two of your thoughts, findings, etc. Or if that’s too much effort, you can just attend the event and soak up everyone else’s brilliant ideas…
If Adelaide is still an ocean too far for you then fear not, because the next NZ walking and cycling conference, 2Walk&Cycle 2014, is being held in Nelson next October. This follows the very successful inaugural combined conference last year in Hastings. Planning for this event is still relatively early, but mark Oct 29-31 2014 in your calendar now!