Countdown to Velo-city 2012: Program Released and Ayfer Baykal Q and A

By Sarah Ripplinger

City of Copenhagen technical and environmental mayor, Ayfer Baykal.

The program overview for the upcoming Velo-city Global bicycle planning conference is now live. You can view it on the Velo-city Global website here.

One of the most notable advantages of attending a cycling planning conference of this caliber is having access to some of the greatest minds in cycling policy and planning the world has to offer. One such expert is the technical and environmental mayor of Copenhagen, Ayfer Baykal.

In the following Q and A, Baykal shares her passion for how cycling policy and policymakers will help to shape cities of the future and why Velo-city Global in Vancouver, BC, will be the place to be come June 26, 2012.

1) What aspect(s) of the first North American edition of Velo-city Global are you the most excited about?

I am amazed by the willpower to change North American cities to become more cycle-friendly. And the pace of constructing bike lanes inspires me a lot. I wish other cities could be as effective as cities like New York.

2) What are you looking forward to seeing and experiencing in Vancouver?

I have never been to Vancouver before, but of course I am looking forward to experiencing a great modern city placed right next to a dramatic natural wilderness. Besides that, I have heard so many good things about Canadian hospitality. I am looking forward to meeting people in the street and seeing how they enjoy the city on two wheels.

3) What is your impression of the Velo-city Global 2012 conference so far?

I have the impression that everybody is very excited and counting down the days until the conference starts. It also convinces me that Velo-city Global 2012 in Vancouver is the place to be if you want to see what future cities will look like and how green mobility will have great influence on green growth and livability.

4) Why are these types of conferences important?

This Velo-city Global is my first, but I know from the former mayors that the conference will be bringing together cycling experts, professionals and urban trendsetters from all over the world. This will generate lots of good ideas and discussions about how to build and develop a better cycle-friendly city.

5) Why should people attend Velo-city Global 2012 in Vancouver?

Because it is an amazing opportunity to meet cycle experts and trendsetters from all over the world. These are the people who are changing the world into a better place to live every day.

6) Any other thoughts?

I am just looking forward to joining the conference and meeting all the good people there – and of course to experience the beautiful City of Vancouver.

Pick up the May/ June 2012 issue of Momentum Magazine or view our digital edition to find out what topics Baykal will address in her presentation, what she sees as the path ahead for cycling in North America and how city officials can encourage cycling.  

Velo-city Global 2012 is expected to host over 1,000 delegates from around the world. The conference will be held June 26 -29 at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center Hotel, accessible by the new Hornby Street separated bike lanes.

Early bird registration rates have been extended to April 30. Visit to secure your spot now.

Check back to the Countdown to Velo-city 2012 blog each week for updates on the conference, its speakers and the people on the attendance list.

Originally published on

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