Ljubljana hosting world’s leading cycling congress

Ljubljana – Ljubljana is hosting from 14 to 17 June the annual Velo-City event, also known as the world cycling summit, where advocates, cities, decision makers, researchers and industry leaders meet to discuss the future of cycling and promote cycling as a sustainable and healthy means of transport.

The biggest international congress of this sort, organised under the auspices of the European Cyclists’ Federation, is expected to attract around 1,500 participants.

Seven plenary sessions will be held along with 66 other events. The Gospodarsko Razstavišče fairgrounds will host 52 exhibitors and a number of activities.

On 15 June Ljubljana’s Congress Square will be the scene of a cycling festival. An 11-km cycling parade on the streets of the capital is planned in the afternoon and evening.

Ljubljana, which had to cancel the organisation of the event in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is seeking to address what are not encouraging transport habits among Slovenians.

Compared to more advanced countries, the pyramid of choice when comes to the means of transport for commuting is inverted in Slovenia. Most people, around 60%, use a private car, 15% use public transport and 7% cycle or walk to work. The last figure is for instance four times lower than in the Netherlands.

Ljubljana is hit particularly hard, seeing 150,000 commuters drive to and from it in 110,000 cars on a daily basis.

The city’s Mayor Zoran Janković and Deputy Mayor Janez Koželj spoke to the press last week, expressing the hope the event would help consolidate continuing efforts for change.

Ljubljana, which has a fairly popular bike rental scheme called Bicikelj, is seeking to improve conditions for cyclists. There are for instance now over 10,000 public bicycle racks in the capital and well over 300 kilometres of bicycle lanes.