Cycling for Everyone
Cycling for Everyone

Dutch Cycling Embassy Supports Aromeiazero’s Participation in Velo-city 2023

11 July 2023

Earlier this year, the 2023 Velo-city Conference drew over 1,400 advocates, cities, decision- and policy-makers, researchers, and industry leaders from 60 countries to Leipzig, Germany. As the annual flagship event of the European Cyclists’ Federation, Velo-city plays a valuable part in promoting cycling as a sustainable and healthy means of transport for all.

While it is known as the world cycling summit, the rising cost of travel and registration makes it an increasingly inaccessible event for non-profit organizations, especially those in the Global South. To help address that inequity, the Dutch Cycling Embassy has introduced a program to sponsor the attendance of a non-profit organization from the Global South. For the first time in 2023, we were pleased to support Aromeiazero’s Heloisa Ribeiro, who travelled from Sâo Paolo to share her work reducing social inequality through the bicycle.

“While it is just a drop in the bucket, the Dutch Cycling Embassy is pleased to bring one NGO to the table for these critical conversations,” said Communications Manager Chris Bruntlett. “Not only does this allow them to learn first-hand about best practice from around the world, but it also provides them with a unique platform from which they can share their own valuable perspective and experience with others.”

“The participation of organizations from the Global South adds to the summit new visions of contexts very different from the Global North, with strong perspectives of social, gender, racial, and other inequalities,” said Heloisa Ribeiro. “Looking at the power of bikes in these realities helps constitute reference experiences where the bicycle is an instrument of social transformation. Aromeiazero operates based on this idea, with actions where bicycles are not just a means of transport, but an educational and work tool, and a generator of culture.”

In the project presented at the conference, “More Bike Parking Stations”, Aromeiazero presented a bike parking station model that responds to the needs of the outskirts of São Paulo—which could be a reference for other large cities in the Global South—complete with bike parking, a cycle-logistics hub, repair shop, bike-sharing, and many other services.

“But for every non-profit that can join the Velo-city Conference as a result of our program, hundreds more are excluded from the event each year,” said Bruntlett. “We hope this initiative inspires other global organizations to consider introducing similar sponsorship programs, so we can ensure a more diverse and equitable representation at the summit.”

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