Velo-City 2015, Nantes, June 2-5

Published by Lyn on 2 May 2015

Velo-City is the European Cyclists' Federation annual global bike talkfest. It's being hosted this year by Nantes, from June 2-5.

Velo-City in Nantes

Cyclists on Cours des 50 otages in central Nantes. Photo: Roberto Giangrande/ECF

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The annual European Cyclists' Federation (ECF) Velo-City conference is billed as a "global platform for the exchange of visions, knowledge, expertise skills and good practice on cycling". It aims to promote cycling as a means of daily transport and recreation, and advise on and lobby for best-practice cycling-related policies.

It aims to encourage city and town planners to integrate bikes into transport policies and make cycling central to urban development. 

Showcasing cycling in Nantes

The event is held in a different city each year – this year it's the turn of Nantes in the Loire-Atlantique department of Pays de la Loire, and the starting point for the splendid Nantes-Brest Canal.

Nantes is in many ways a perfect base for the ECF's showcase conference, given the city is at the crossroads of the ECF's EuroVelo 2 – the Atlantic Coast bike route – and the EuroVelo 6 Loire Valley route. It's also developed a strong cycling culture, having previously been named the fifth most bicycle-friendly city in the world.

The city has some 485km of bike paths and 6,500 bike stands, plus a structured policy to expand bike parking across the city. There's also a formal counting system to record bike numbers and another counting bike trips across the city.

The Bicloo public bike share program has 880 bikes at 103 docking stations and has had more than 10,500 members since September 2014. On average, 4,020 bikes are hired each day. There is also an e-bike share program in the city and another for students.

Velo-City 2015

Velo-City this year has four key objectives to promote cycling as a sustainable form of transport and tourism:

  • Create a replicable model dedicated to regional cities
  • Build on the strengths and weaknesses of the Nantes experience and other French cities
  • Reach out to the world
  • Create a future inspired by cycling

What to expect

Velo-City is a conference first and foremost, but it's also an exhibition of bicycles and bike manufacturuers, an opportunity for group rides and a chance to meet like-minded cyclists.

For more information and the full program, see the official website: velo-city2015.com

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