If that were the case, then we could only organize Velo-City in places such as Flanders, the Netherlands, or Denmark. We are also keen to find starter cities, like Lisbon.
Two decades ago, they had three kilometres of bike lanes, now there are up to 200 km. So, we see a lot of progress. In fact, we see an impact with every new conference. The last conference was in Dublin, in 2019, and it gave cycling there a huge boost. Velo-City was the very first time that all of Ireland’s cycling communities came together and this created a nationwide network. Many things have been discussed at Velo-City and were implemented six months later.
But we must also keep in mind that there are various levels of legacy. Even in a highly developed country people can always learn and find innovative approaches. Or they may need to refresh their approach and think out of the box.
So, innovation remains important, and that can also come from a country which is less developed in terms of cycling. It may be that they can apply a totally new approach, and thus inspire more developed countries. The cycle node network is a good illustration of this. It was developed in Flanders, but adopted wholesale by the Netherlands.”