The International Cycling Union (UCI) have relaunched their Bike City label which aims to support cities and regions which invest in developing community cycling and related infrastructure.
Copenhagen in Denmark became the first Bike City when the initial programme began in 2007, but following the relaunch a new city will be awarded the title at next year’s World Road Cycling Championships in Doha, Qatar.
The label will be awarded for a period of four years with the decision based upon the city’s strategy for combining the showcasing of elite cycling through UCI events with investment in cycling for all ages.
“Governments and regions across the globe are now grasping the huge public health benefits from integrating cycling into their transport plans and part of the job of the UCI is to provide strategic guidance in this process,” said Brian Cookson, UCI President.
“The UCI Bike City label will highlight those cities and towns who are making the most of the opportunity that hosting major UCI events brings and are leading the way in developing community cycling.
“Bike transport is increasingly becoming mainstream across the world and it is important that the UCI helps to drive forward and quicken this trend and ensure cities and regions can learn from each other.
“We want to work with our major event host partners to ensure that, together, we create a long term legacy of improved community cycling opportunities and infrastructure.
“This ambition is what lies at the heart of the UCI Bike City label.”
A UCI team has been dedicated to supporting cities and regions to develop their plans and share best practices while candidates will be assessed on eight different criteria, including participation, sustainability and dedicated funding.
Additionally the ambition of their strategy, cycle training, protected bike lanes, safety for cyclists and their measuring of progress will all be considered, with each of the criteria aiming to demonstrate how elite cycling events can help to achieve long-term goals about bringing cycling to the city’s residents.
Each of the criteria has a points weighting with strategy, ambition and bike lanes carrying the highest total of 15 points each.
“Cycling is not just a competitive sport, it is also an enjoyable, healthy pastime and an environmentally friendly way to get about,” said Tracey Gaudry, UCI vice-president.
“More than 700 cities in 50 countries now have bike-share schemes, a figure that has grown by about half in the last three years.
“The UCI Bike City label should be seen against this exciting context.”
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