The XVI Iberian Congress

The XVI Iberian Congress: “Beyond mobility” on bikes and cities took place in Cascais, Portugal, from May 2nd to 4th, 2019. This annual event started back in 1996 thanks to the support of ConBici (Spanish Coordinator in pursuit of Bicycles) and FPCUB (Portuguese Federation of Cycle Tourism and Bicycle users). The Covid-19 made it impossible in 2020, and there is the prevision of continuing with it in Barcelos (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain) in 2021 at the time I write this post.

Audiences enjoyed speeches about a variety of subjects such as improving communities to strengthen the bike movement, better accessibility, how bikes enhance economy, EuroVelo (the European bike line net to cross from one country to another without stopping pedaling), environment and health, raising cycle tourism or Velocity 2021. Moreover, participants uplifted their mood in the bike ride and local cuisine in the 3-days congress.

It concluded in:

  • The need of norms and laws in the bike building process to ensure security

  • The debate proposed bikes as part of economic accessibility and a boom of local economy in comparison of the car counterparts

  • The challenge of bikes in Africa, with special attention to the lack of bicycle infrastructures and the stigma of relating this way of transport with poverty

  • Transporting senior citizens in bikes, fro instance cargo bikes, helps benefiting local communities

  • Promoting bike use in schools makes societies less dependent of car and petrol

  • Such change is importantly improved when favorable laws and figures of reference, mainly parents, contribute

  • The congress also pointed out the need of technician training to create well prepared persons who design bike infrastructures

  • Another spot was the lack of reliable studies regarding the economic impact of bike on society and the hope of the BooST “Boosting Starter Cycling Cities”  project will solve part of it

  • Moving from car cities to decarbonized cities

  • Promoting open data acquisition in regards of sustainable mobility

  • Intermodality

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