Velo-city 2025: Gdańsk to host the world cycling summit
The City of Gdańsk, Poland wins bid to host the world cycling summit. This is first time Velo-city will be held in Poland, with the conference set to take place in June 2025 under the theme Energising Solidarity.
The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is delighted to announce that the 2025 edition of Velo-city, its flagship world cycling summit, will be hosted in Gdańsk, Poland. The city submitted an impressive bid to host the annual conference, and now has the honour of being the first city in Poland that will host an edition of Velo-city. The conference is set to take place in June 2025.
The proposed theme of Velo-city 2025 is Energising Solidarity, incorporating the city’s heritage and its commitment to promoting social change through cycling.
Jill Warren, CEO of ECF said: “ECF is delighted to award Velo-city 2025 to Gdańsk, an outstanding applicant and cycling city on the rise. After decades of working with Gdańsk in our Cities & Regions for Cyclists Network and as a key city on the EuroVelo cycle route network, we are confident that Velo-city 2025 will be spectacular.”
Velo-city is the unrivalled global cycling conference: the key annual moment when the cycling community comes together to network and be inspired to shape the future of cycling advocacy. Last year Velo-city took place in beautiful Ljubljana and this year Velo-city 2023 will take place in Leipzig from 9-12 May, before going to Ghent for its 2024 edition. In the cities that have hosted Velo-city across the years, an increase in the share of cycling for daily transport has been noted.
Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Mayor of Gdańsk said: “We are honoured to be the first Polish city to host Velo-city! The event will be a great crowning achievement of our cycling aspirations. It will undoubtedly strengthen the image of our city and region as tourist and investor friendly. The inhabitants will benefit from the organisation of Velo-city Gdańsk 2025, and all participants can expect an amazing event.
She continued: “This is a great honour, but also a great responsibility. Preparing and holding such a prestigious conference with 1,500 participants means a considerable organisational and logistical effort. However, in Gdańsk we have experience in organising large international events, so we are also ready for this challenge.”
Mayor of Gdańsk Aleksandra Dulkiewicz and ECF CEO Jill Warren sign Velo-city contract in Brussels (Source: ECF)
The Gdańsk 2025 edition of Velo-city will take place in June at the Amber Expo Exhibition and Conference Centre of the Gdańsk International Fair Co, a state of the art exhibition and congress centre. The event will be jointly organised by ECF, the City of Gdańsk, the region of the Pomeranian Voivodeship, Gdańsk International Fair Co. Ltd, Polish Union of Active Mobility – PUMA and the Gdańsk Tourism Organisation. Gdańsk’s candidature was supported by more than 20 institutions, including the President of the Republic of Poland, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, the biggest Polish cities, national trade unions, local government associations, Pomeranian universities, local and metropolitan authorities as well as the professional organisations representing the cycling industry and tourism sector.
The rise of Gdańsk as a cycling city is impressive. Currently its cycling infrastructure spans over 850 km. This includes parts of three EuroVelo routes which pass through the city: EuroVelo 9 – Baltic-Adriatic Route, EuroVelo 10 – Baltic Sea Cycle Route and EuroVelo 13 – Iron Curtain Trail.
Gdańsk has been embracing cycling for transportation, leisure and tourism, and has bold strategic plans to enable more cycling and harness its potential. It has been implementing cycling programmes for over 20 years and adopted a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) in 2019.
Known as the founding city of Solidarność (Solidarity), the independent trade union that played a key role in bringing about the end of socialist rule in Poland, Velo-city Gdańsk draws on this heritage with its chosen theme of solidarity. The city hopes that the cycling community will be inspired to come together promote cycling as a means to save energy, and enhance personal and societal energy.
In the run up to the event in 2025, the city has bold ambitions to further advance cycling. This includes building a cycling superhighways network of 36.8 km, upgrading a total of 30 km of cycling routes, prioritise cycle traffic across 16 key parts of the road network, reconstructing eight cycle crossings over major road traffic routes, implementing a number of 30 km/h zones, and upgrading recreational and commuter cycling routes. It is also launching a new public bike sharing system called MEVO 2.0 in 2023, with 75% of the entire fleet of bicycles being electrically assisted. All participants of Velo-city Gdańsk will receive a free pass for the MEVO system, and the city’s public transport network.