Open Letter to the Mayor of Lisbon, Mr António Costa,

The annual conference Velo-City, promoted by the European Cycling Federation, is the most attended and recognized event promoting the bicycle as a means of urban transportation.

The call for submissions to the Velo-City 2017 conference, to be held in the Spring of the same year, has just opened. The organization of this conference provides enormous national and international media coverage of the organizing city, but above all, it allows Lisbon to make a stand as a more modern and people friendly urban area.

The Association for Urban Mobility on Bicycle (MUBi) believes that a future organization of the Velo-City Conference in Lisbon would bring important positive impacts:

  • Local public exposure to the benefits of cycling in urban environments;

  • Social and political acceptance of ambitious local measures for the promotion of cycling and other people friendly modes of travel;

  • International projection of Lisbon as a city committed to the adoption of the best-practices in mobility;

  • Knowledge and international best-practices transfer on to citizens, technicians, politicians and companies based in Lisbon and the rest of Portugal;

  • International affirmation of Lisbon and Portugal as a world class business and leisure destination.

We believe that now is the right time for Lisbon to apply through a mobilizing bid. To make it effective, and more importantly, to improve the quality of life for Lisbon’s citizens and visitors, it is essential – as you and other members of your cabinet have been publicly defending – that during this mandate, sustainable and people friendly mobility policies are ambitiously and truly achieved.

MUBi hereby proposes the city of Lisbon to carry out a bid to organise the Velo-City 2017 conference, and we are ready to assist in its preparation.

Velo-City has been asserting itself as the major event of the cycling world.

It is not only a gathering of hundreds of professionals for almost one week reflecting on cycling, but also a huge party in favor of sustainable mobility and the quality of life in cities.

In recent years, Velo-City has become more than a mere conference for professionals. It is an event that changes the habits and forms of dialogue between institutions and civil society. MUBi is well aware of the enormous challenge, especially at the current time of economic crisis Portugal is experiencing.

But we also believe that this is a unique moment in the history of the city – with the use of bicycles growing by leaps and bounds with each passing day. We also believe that Portugal occupies a unique space in the economy linked to the bicycle – business and employment in the areas of production and integration of components is important and produces wealth (about 50 companies employ 2,500 workers, representing € 180 million in annual exports).

In addition, Portugal, and especially Lisbon, is a place of venues for conferences, enjoying an international reputation that is in itself already a great invitation. In past international events, we have shown that we know how to host with hospitality, enthusiasm and responsibility.

Therefore we propose everyone to join forces in order to host this event in Lisbon in 2017.

Let’s all pedal for this idea!


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