There was an line up of renowned Chinese and international experts to address the audience on approaches, necessary changes and the sharing of concrete experiences and projects. As a start keynote speaker Eric Britton argued philosophically in favour of a wider understanding of the word ‘sharing’ in the context of transport. We have bike sharing and car sharing systems, but we also can share experiences, cities, cultures and resources. As Jioazuo is the home city of Tai Chi, Eric concluded that the 7 principles of Tai Chi perfectly apply on sustainable urban transport: a calm soul, balance, breathing, slow movement, whole body, no violence and harmony. Tom Godefrooij of the Dutch Cycling Embassy did a presentation titled “Cycling as a Key Component of Urban Transport”. He underlined the importance of an integral approach of urban transport and cycling as an important part of the ‘optimal mix’ of transport modes. He argued that the Dutch cycling policies could be as successful as they have been because of the fact that the Netherlands had their revaluation of cycling before it was too late. After the decline of cycling between 1950 and 1975 the Netherlands still had a substantial level of cycling to build on for the development of a new cycling culture. Despite the very fast decrease of cycling in China in the last two decades, this is also (still) true in China: it is not too late to start to develop, as one of the other speakers mr Shannon Bufton called it: a Chinese Bicycle Culture 2.0. But China should not wait any longer to take up this challenge. 22 September was the announcement of the initiative of Chinese National Cycling Day organised by the Institute of Comprehensive Transportation of the NDRC (National Development and Reform Commission, People’s Republic of China) and JiaoZuo City Government. As representative from Europe Tom Godefrooij was asked to say a few words at the opening ceremony. He said that Bicycle Day should be the celebration of the contribution of cycling to the mobility of many people and to improved quality of life in our future cities.
The Dutch Cycling Embassy was invited by the China Urban Transport Development Strategy Partnership and Demonstration Project to speak at the Shared Transport Forum on September 21st 2012. This forum, sponsored by NDRC/GEF/World Bank, was held for the third time in China; this year the forum’s venue was in Jiaozuo in de province of Henan. It is part of GEF’s training programme for comprehensive urban transport development planning.
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