Thu, Jan 28, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Taipei to be first Asian host of Velo-city cycling event

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government yesterday said it would use the Velo-city Global, a major international cycling convention, to introduce more of the capital to the world and promote “green” transportation.

The event, which is titled “the evolution of cycling,” is to run from Feb. 27 to March 1, featuring local and international speakers who are to talk about how to achieve sustainable urban development through cycling, Taipei Deputy Mayor Chou Li-fang (周麗芳) said.

The event is to feature eight select bicycle trails, each having a different theme, including hot springs, waterfront parks, culture, historic buildings and art, Chou said.

She said that Taipei is to join the list of previous host cities, such as London, Copenhagen, Milan, Italy and Vienna, Austria, which would boost the city’s international profile.

Chou said that Taipei made strenuous efforts to work with the central government and the private sector to secure its 2013 bid to host the event.

By winning the bid, it justified Taiwan’s status as a “bicycle kingdom,” Taipei’s efforts to promote cycling and its bicycle trails, as well as Taipei’s status as an international city.

The event’s Web site said a “cycling carnival” is to be held on Feb. 28, at which Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) is to lead participants on a bicycle trip, with the start and finish to be at the plaza in front of Taipei City Hall, where live music and bicycle stunts are to be performed.

European Cyclists’ Federation member Marcio Deslandes, who is the Velo-city series manager, said Taipei differs from other Asian cities in that residents are always “thinking forward,” which makes Taipei an “avant-garde” city and a fitting choice to host the event.

Deslandes said Taipei is an example for other Asian cities in terms of urban planning and how it has integrated bicycles into its public transportation systems, which showed the government’s will to promote sustainability in the city and a better environment.

However, one area Taipei needs to work on is the quality of bicycle-related infrastructure, Delandes said.

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