If you want to find out the latest happenings in the NZ cycling scene (and beyond), then it might be worth booking some travel to Palmerston North soon. Because the next “2WALKandCYCLE” NZ Walking and Cycling Conference is coming to the town between July 30 and August 1. And immediately before it, the Cycling Action Network (CAN) annual “CAN Do” advocacy workshop is also in Palmy on Sun 29th July.
2WALKandCYCLE is the premier biennial conference in NZ focused on all things walking and cycling. This year’s conference is the fourth incarnation (previously in Auckland in 2016) following a series of separate NZ walking and cycling conferences since 1997. The last time Palmerston North hosted one of these conferences was actually way back in 2000. In the meantime, the city has continued to work on developing its cycleway network (not without its controversies, like everywhere else…); it’s also done a great job recently of providing a number of Bikes in Schools facilities.
This year’s conference features another jam-packed programme of presenters covering a range of topics from planning/design to health to promotion and more, as well as some field trips around the city. It’s a great way to keep up with the latest thinking and activity in walking and cycling around NZ. And the keynote speaker is Lucy Saunders, a Public Health Specialist in Transport and the Public Realm at Transport for London, providing an interesting international perspective. The Conference dinner will also see who wins this year’s national “Bike to the Future” awards (there’s a few Christchurch mentions in there…).
The conference might still be more than six weeks away, but if you want to get the cheapest registration fees you only have this week to do so. Early-bird registrations close on Fri 15th June; after that the rates go up. If you’re working in the sector, a full registration is $910 for the three days, but advocates and others working in a voluntary capacity in community can get a special rate of only $385.
An even cheaper option is to attend the CAN Do workshop immediately before. CAN has been holding these annual events since 2004 as a way of bringing together advocates from around the country and sharing ideas and issues about how to make a more cycle-friendly nation (here’s the programme and presentations from last year). Plus there’s always an excuse to throw in a bike ride and a social dinner as well!
As well as the latest group updates from around the regions, this year you will hear about how get businesses on board with being bike friendly, how to develop strong campaigns, and how to make safer speeds happen in your area. Overall the CAN Do is an inspiring way to recharge your batteries. Registration is just $40 for CAN members ($50 for others); contact Patrick at CAN for details.
Will we see you in Palmerston North?