From the initial initiatives of the Danish Embassy to the events accompanying the ‘Dreams on wheels’ exhibition a range of events has been developed in co-operation with numerous partners at the initiative of the CIVITAS ELAN group, which we have entitled ‘May 2010 – cycling month’.
'Dreams on Wheels' exhibition
The Danish Embassy and the City of Ljubljana are to open this cycling period with an exhibition entitled 'Dreams on Wheels – Danish cycling culture for sustainable cities', which is to run from 3 to 10 May in the atrium of Ljubljana City Hall. Via this exhibition, whose official opening is on 3 May at 4.30pm, we would like to showcase urban cycling as a good and sustainable personal transport solution as is confirmed by numerous examples of good practice from Denmark.
The exhibition is to showcase various kinds of bikes, from, for example, functional bikes to unusual and modern bikes, enriched with a diverse collection of photos and posters. In this way we will shine a light on the Danish cycling tradition, bike design and spatial planning in urban environments, and above all this is to be an effort to improve the quality of life in cities. By focusing on the bicycle as a Danish cultural icon, we highlight that the city can be transformed into an environmentally friendly and an interesting space for socializing can be created.
In this, many cities can learn from the Danes about how to install cycling into the transport system as a form of transport that is 'equal' to others. There is already such a network in place, partly due to education, high prices of cars and well-developed, cycle-friendly infrastructure. The Danish Embassy hopes that the exhibition will help shed light on the multitude of benefits of cycling, which are superior to those associated with the use of private cars. Cycling is a far better choice than driving, in city centres it is an extremely time-effective solution that is also environmentally friendly, and as well as all this, cyclists look after their health via regular exercise. So why not jump on your bike next time you need to run an errand in Ljubljana?
Danish urban cycles - prizes for biking to work in threes
In addition to the exhibition, there are also to be other events in the cycling month pointing out the positive effects of this means of transport. Within the framework of the 'Europe faces challenges' project under the auspices of the British Council in Ljubljana and Umanotera, a group of climate defenders has prepared a project entitled 'In threes – getting to work by bike', which is intended to encourage workers to cycle to work instead of using the car and thus reduce their CO2 emissions.
The campaign is to start on Monday 3 May and goes on until Thursday 27 May. The competition may be entered by 'trios' from every kind of company or organisation – three colleagues as one team, who are going to cycle to work in the month of May. For every day cycled to work in May a point will be recorded for each team member individually and at the end a prize will be awarded to the best. At the conclusion of the competition the climate change activists will report the extent of CO2 emissions saved in a single month of cycling to work. Further information on this is available at www.vtroje.si, where you can also register the participation of your trio.
Fun helmet design for the youngest and 'cycling breakfast'.
In addition to the above, the first Monday in May sees a creative workshop for children entitled 'Design your helmet', led by the Council for Accident Prevention and Education in Road Traffic and the Sezam parents and children's association. Under their mentorship, children will be able to decorate their helmets and prepare an exhibition of devices for greater cycling safety. It is to take place between 3.30 and 7pm in front of City Hall. Similarly, there will also be counselling on ‘Health on the bike’, which is to run under the baton of CINDI Slovenia. After the opening of the 'Dreams on Wheels' exhibition on the same day, at 5.30pm in front of City Hall you will be able to join a one-hour cycling trip entitled ‘Through the Baroque to the lake-dweller and on to a new city project’. The CINDI Slovenia organization will also be active on Monday 10 May, the World Day of Movement when a free physical fitness test will be carried out in the form of a two-kilometre walk, entitled "Are you fit enough for cycling?"
On Wednesday 12 May, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in partnership with the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic Of Slovenia (UIRS) is holding an event under the title of “I use a bike, not a car”, via which the Ministry would like to extend its activities towards promoting the use of bikes rather than cars as an alternative means of transport to work. The event begins as 9am in the courtyard of the Ministry, where a 'cycling breakfast' will be enjoyed and to which staff who are going to cycle to work will be invited. As part of the event, UIRS is to organise free bike servicing for minor repairs, which will also be available on Saturday 15, 22 and 29 May at the start of Cankarjeva Cesta.
The Ministry has bought two bikes for its staff, intended for the use of staff on shorter journeys around Ljubljana, which Minister Samuel Žbogar is going to donate that day. On this occasion, Danish Ambassador Anita Hugau is to donate two additional bikes to the Ministry via the 'Dreams on Wheels' exhibition, while in the framework of a sustainable mobility plan that the Institute runs on behalf of the Ministry the President of UIRS Dr Aljaž Plevnik will speak about the redesign on parking spaces for bikes and the installation of showers and changing rooms in the ministry building.
An exhibition of unusual bikes at a cafe by the river bank
In City Hall on Friday 21 May between 9am and noon in the framework of a sequence of eight lectures the 'CIVITAS ELAN open academy' is to run a workshop on 'Cycling view from Denmark to Špica and its environs', led by Troels Andersen from the Danish cycling embassy and Brian Hansen from the City of Copenhagen. A good deal of colour will be on show a week later, 27 May, when the 'Parade on the River Bank' takes place. From 4 to 8pm there will be an exhibition of electric, folding and other interesting bikes and cycling accessories under the slogan which reads in Slovene KOLO='KOOL' (BIKE='COOL'), and we will repeat the creative workshop for children entitled 'Design your helmet'. After 6pm the Cafe on the Riverbank is to open under the subtitle of 'More cultured, safer in traffic' and there will be a chance to socialise with the Mayor of Ljubljana and foreign ambassadors on the theme of safe cycling.
Cycling month concludes on 3 June, although there is to be no end to the campaign to promote cycling. That Thursday at 5pm in City Hall the final events with the encouraging title “We cycle all year round” will take place, as well as the prize-giving by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Denmark to the winners of the trio project 'In threes – getting to work by bike'. That will also be an opportunity for us to showcase all the participants’ forthcoming steps, by both civil society and policymakers in the field of awareness of cycling, which is one of the more popular forms of sustainable mobility.
Further information: Vita Kontić, City of Ljubljana, tel.: + 386 1 306 10 95, e-mail: email@example.com