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Velo-city returns to Italy: Rimini to host 2026 edition

The European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) is delighted to announce that the City of Rimini has won the bid to host the 2026 edition of the prestigious Velo-city conference. Marking its return to Italy for the first time since 1991, ECF chose Rimini in recognition of its remarkable transformation from a car-oriented to a sustainable, liveable, and healthy city for all. The conference is scheduled to take place from 16-19 June 2026.

In its exceptional application, Rimini convened an impressive coalition of partners, including ECF’s member FIAB, which played a prominent role in securing the bid, and ANCI, the National Association of Italian Municipalities. The 2026 edition will be jointly organised by the City of Rimini, the AIM Group, and ECF.

Jamil Sadegholvaad, Mayor of Rimini, said "This outcome brings great satisfaction as it consolidates Rimini's position among the outstanding cities that have committed to promoting and implementing infrastructure and policies in favour of active mobility. It perfectly captures Rimini in a time of change, the result of processes and measures carried out within a development vision that places sustainable mobility at the centre. With this prestigious recognition, Rimini will be at the centre of the international spotlight on the topic of cycling in Europe.

In Rimini, every delegate will be invited to make their own contribution with best practices and analyses to change neighbourhoods, cities and towns. During the event they will be able to see firsthand what the city has implemented in recent years to position itself as one of the most bicycle-friendly municipalities in Italy: from the pedestrianisation of the seafront to the doubling of the bicycle network, from integrated transport services to the creation of the bicycle hub with the Bike Park, from the promotion of micro-mobility to the use of cargo bikes."

Stefano Bonini, President of VisitRimini, said “VisitRimini, the official DMC of the city, is particularly thrilled to host the Velo-city event in 2026. This achievement is the result of great teamwork involving all local stakeholders, united by a shared and collective vision of sustainable destination development. Coordination was pivotal for the success of this bid, with everyone playing their part—from public institutions such as the Municipality of Rimini, APT SERVIZI Emilia Romagna, to private entities like Italian Exhibition Group with the Riviera di Rimini Convention Bureau, a trusted partner in the international bidding process, and the state-of-the-art Palacongressi di Rimini, situated in the heart of the city."
 

Pedestrianisation of the seafront in Rimini, Italy


Flaminia Roberti, Global Sales Manager AIM Group International, said: “We are truly excited to have contributed to bringing this iconic event to Italy and Rimini. The key factor in the success of our bid was the great cohesion of the team and the tremendous effort made in perfect synergy between the stakeholders. At the heart of the bid dossier was a narrative centred on how the City of Rimini has changed over the years to become, in some ways, a virtuous example of a sustainable and cyclist-friendly destination. We are working tirelessly to ensure that the delegates' experience is nothing short of extraordinary: our Bike Village project and Bike Parade will create lasting memories for all attendees.”

Alessandro Tursi, President of FIAB and former ECF Vice President, said: "It's truly a great result for FIAB, which has been working for years with the City of Rimini and its partners to bring Velo-city back to Italy after the distant 1991 edition. We are proud and aware of FIAB's responsibility in proposing content, with the strategic role of programme director".

Jill Warren, CEO of ECF, said “We are thrilled to bring our flagship event to Rimini, a city that has undergone an incredible transformation from a car-centric environment to a people-oriented city. Rimini's unwavering commitment to green mobility, showcased in transformative projects like the regeneration of its seafront, demonstrates a clear dedication to a sustainable future. ECF has had the pleasure of working alongside Rimini on various projects over the past couple of years, and we anticipate an unforgettable conference for the global cycling community.”
 
Mayor of Rimini, Jamil Sadegholvaad, CEO of ECF, Jill Warren, and Councilor Mobility, Transport, and Urban Planning of Rimini, Roberta Frisoni

The medium-sized Italian coastal city, known for its charm and historical heritage, faces the mobility challenges of a metropolis with 3.3 million tourists arriving every year. In response to this, Rimini has taken significant strides by initiating a comprehensive plan of urban regeneration, supported by substantial investments and concrete action. One of its flagship projects is the 15 km waterfront, where grey car-dominated infrastructure was transformed into an Urban Sea Park, making room for green areas, cycling, walking, open-air gyms, and creating more beach space. This incredible process has led to Rimini being greener than ever before and well on its way to reaching 50% of daily trips completed by cycling, walking, and public transport in 10 years, as outlined in its Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan.

Rimini stands out as an excellent example of how investing in sustainable mobility and cycling becomes a key pillar in improving citizens' health and well-being. The Bicipolitana, a 135 km network of bicycle routes connecting the sea, the city, and the countryside, further exemplifies Rimini’s commitment to sustainable mobility. The city's dedication is also evident in the implementation of the bike park strategically located in front of the train station, offering bike rentals and other services.

Rimini aims to seize the opportunity of the conference to further boost and focus its efforts on improving the city’s cycling strategy and discover innovative solutions and best practices that could inspire its actions in this direction.