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October 01, 2021 2 min read

In September the See.Sense team were back on the road at the Velo-city conference in Lisbon. Velo-city is the largest cycling conference in the world, hosting over 1000 in-person participants, 331 speakers and 47 exhibitors this year. The theme was Cycling Diversity and brought together those involved in cycling policy, sustainable urban development and active mobility. 

It was such an inspiring event, below are some of the quotes that resonated with us:

"The bicycle is the best and most affordable way to decarbonise transport" - EU Commission's vice-President Frans Timmermans

‘There is NO WAY that we can achieve the #SDGs or deliver on the Green Deal without including everyday cycling’ - Jill Warren, CEO of EU Cyclists Federation

“Safety is key to get more people cycling.”- Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor, Helsinki 

'Build it and they will come... but not everyone will come. This is the problem. We need data to drive strategy.  Many cities don’t have enough data to inform their city planners on where the best location for cycling infrastructure is.  - Will Norman, Cycling and Walking Commissioner, London

“It’s important to get the message across thatimproving infra to make it safer for cycling actually makes it safer for everyone” - Denise Hamilton, Cycling Scotland

The cycling community needs to be a little less modest about its capabilities.Don’t underestimate the power you have. You are responsible for 150 bn Euros of benefit to the European economy, including health benefits”. - Deputy D-G of European Commission, Matthew Baldwin

“Kids can become powerful ambassadors.” - Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana, Albania.
“Need to focus on the children, they will be the ones using the infrastructure when the targets need to be hit in 2030.” - Miguel Gaspar, Deputy Mayor, Lisbon.  

Innovation with purpose” - CIE’s Chief Executive Kevin Mayne gave a rousing keynote calling on cycling innovators especially in the digital sectors to come together and create a critical mass of companies that maximise the strengths of the sector.  He contrasted it with old-fashioned thinking in Intelligent Transport Systems that attracts a lot of attention and funding but is still trying to make cars more efficient instead of making the huge changes that we need for climate change and decongesting cities.

Cargo bikes to the rescue!

Demand for cargo bikes is on the rise with cycling for moving goods currently increasing by 100% yearly. See.Sense Cofounder joined a panel to discuss the commercial applications of cargo bikes, highlighting See.Sense’s work with Sustrans Scotland and Co-Bikes in Exeter.  

Diversity! 

One of the highlights was the Women in Cycling Network session. The network was launched in February 2021, so Velo-city provided an opportunity for the network to meet face to face for the first time. Irene joined a panel with 9 other leading women in the cycling sector, a first for Velo-city, to discuss how women can have more visibility and impact on the sector.

It was fantastic to finally meet people in person again to have the opportunity to cycle through Lisbon together in the Velo-city bike parade.

We can’t wait to see you all again at next year’s Velo-city in Ljubljana! 

Irene McAleese
Irene McAleese