Velo-city 2024
Ghent
18-21 June 2024

Cycle with us

                 
   

Technical Visits

As a Velo-city participant, you can enjoy one of the 19 different technical visits we created for you to experience Ghent's cycling developments. These bike tours are led by experts in small groups on a bike. Some of the 19 technical visits are taking place only once or twice, others will be organised more often.

 

Some important information points:

 

  1. You can register for max 2 technical visits. 
  2. We operate on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
  3. You can sign up by using the link that you have received by e-mail on 23 May or as soon as you have registered for Velo-city after 23 May. Please also check your junk mail folder. If you are registered for Velo-city and didn't receive a link via e-mail on 23 May, please write to [email protected].
  4. Most of the technical visits will start from one of the four different locations at the conference venue (indicated with A, B, C and D), except for the technical visits to Deinze and Kortrijk (both visits will start at the train station) and to the North Sea Port (starting at the harbour). If you have signed up for one of these three technical visits, you will get an e-mail with specific instructions.
  5. Every Velo-city participant will have the opportunity to use a bike during the entire conference. There will also be bikes available in case you only need one for your technical visit. The bike distribution will take place at the conference venue at the Bike rental counter. Make sure you have a bike before the beginning of the technical visit!

 

Bits & Bytes

 

 

During this technical visit, you will learn how the City of Ghent and its partners use innovative technologies and data to make the city safer, healthier, more accessible and cleaner. You will learn how intelligent traffic lights, introduced within the Mobilidata program, increase traffic flow and the safety of cyclists. You will be introduced to 2 citizen science projects (COMPAIR and Telraam) in which citizens (even school children) collect data about traffic flows and air quality (as will you during this trip!).

 

The City of Ghent will teach you everything about their permanent bike counters and how the data is used. Imec will then tell you everything about the Megabits project in which data from various sources as Telraam and bike counters are collected in data spaces. Last but not least, you will also visit the newest bike parking where a bike detection system automatically detects orphan bikes.

 

As a bonus, you will cycle past some state-of-the-art cycling infrastructures (bridges and tunnels) and the famous F400 cycle highway ring road. Curious about your cumulative exposure to air pollution during or inhaled dose during this trip? Stay tuned until the end. 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 10:45-13:15

Wednesday 19 June: 13:30-16:00

Thursday 20 June: 11:00-13:30 

Visit Kortrijk Cycle City 2020

 

 

Kortrijk is a city on the banks of the Lys in West Flanders. The waterways that crisscross our city form the basis for a robust cycling network. In our residential areas and historic centres we opt for cycling zones and mixed traffic. We want our youngest and oldest road users to be able to cycle and walk safely in their neighbourhood. In residential streets, we don’t want more than 200 cars during rush hour. 

 

Kortrijk is fully committed to greening. We take away space from the car and give it back to pedestrians, cyclists, greenery and water. Cars are parked underground, bicycles in secured parkings. For short journeys, you can use our shared bikes. 

 

To measure is to know! We count our cars, cyclists and pedestrians and make this data public. Our residents, policymakers and administration are the driving force behind the cycling city. In 2020, as a reward, we were elected as Cycling City of Flanders!

 

This technical visit starts Thursday 20 June at 8:15 am at the train station Gent Sint Pieters. The train leaves at 8:36 am (direction Poperinge). 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Thursday 20 June: 08:15-13:30

How to reconcile and strengthen bicycle and public transport use

 

 

Public transport and cycling can make a fantastic marriage. But then these two modes must understand each other well and respect each other. 

 

Transport to and from a public transport stop can easily be done by bicycle if policy and investments in public domain and public transport nodes are tailored to this. 

 

On the other hand, the presence of public transport also affects the safety of cyclists. Just as the presence of cyclists affects the flow of public transport. As in any well-functioning relationship, they must give each other enough space. But if available space is limited by the historical context, what compromises should these partners make to each other? 

 

This bike ride takes you past the bicycle facilities of the busiest train station in Flanders and the tram network in the center of Ghent.  

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 10:45-13:15

Thursday 20 June: 09:00-11:30 

A journey from national park to world heritage 

 

 

Cycling is one of the most sustainable ways to travel. However, there are still only a few cycling tourists among the tourists who visit Ghent. We want to change this by working on three pillars: 

 

  1. Signage. In Flanders, a network of 9 iconic routes has been developed, 3 of which pass through Ghent. Combined with local network signage, it is a mess. 
  2. Variation in your cycling holiday experience. In fact, 5 km from the Scheldt Valley National Park, you are standing at the Belfry of Ghent, a beautiful example of world heritage. Is there any other cultural city where you can experience that? 
  3. Equipped with the necessary facilities: bicycle parking and bike-friendly hotels.

 

What will we delve into during the technical visit? 

  1. The tangle of signage. We'll try to untangle that together, so bring your best practices!
  2. The design of an indoor bicycle shed in the listed “Meathall” in the heart of Ghent. Come in and share your thoughts before we finalise the design.
  3. Experience the unique link between national park and world heritage. 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Wednesday 19 June: 14:30-17:00

Thursday 20 June: 14:30-17:00

Ghent circulation plan: a story of (an overnight) modal shift 

 

 

In 2017, Ghent introduced its much-discussed circulation plan. As a result of this plan, the city center (an area of about 7,5 km2) was divided into sectors, between which car traffic was no longer possible. From then on, car traffic had to use the ring road. As a result, bicycle traffic in and to the city center increased sharply and car traffic decreased.  

 

During this tour, we will give you more details about the principles of the plan and its results. We will see some of the sector boundaries (enforced with cameras) and newly created pedestrian areas, but we will also pay attention to the cycling measures in the city center (bicycle streets, bridges, underpasses and sheds) that contributed to its success.

 

Finally, we will visit places where the traffic space has been transformed to create more space for pedestrians and cyclists, such as squares and parks. 

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 10:45-13:15 & 13:30-16:00

Wednesday 19 June: 09:00-11:30 & 11:00-13:30 & 13:30-16:00

Thursday 20 June: 11:00-13:30 & 13:30-16:00 & 14:40-17:00

Bicycle parking in Ghent

 

 

On this technical visit, we will visit a couple of different creative bicycle parking solutions around the city. We are not going for the big parking such as the train stations, but will look at several smaller examples of dealing with a high demand in bicycle parking spots in a city where public space is limited. 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 13:30-16:00

Wednesday 19 June: 09:00-11:30

Thursday 20 June: 09:00-11:30

Ghent is not a bicyle city yet 

 

 

Fietsersbond Gent and Gents MilieuFront, two local groups asking for a better cycling environment in Ghent, challenge the city to constantly improve the cycling infrastructure in Ghent. 

 

In the city of Ghent - with its historic center and complex infrastructure - cycling infrastructure is not always self-evident. The city has come a long way, but there are still a number of pain points or areas for improvement. On this tour we take you to the points that still need to be addressed. 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 14:30-17:00

Eastern Ring and Old Port

 

 

We follow part of the eastern bicycle highway F400, designed as a bicycle ring road around the old city. Along the way, we come across some of the many bicycle underpasses: connections under busy roads or railways. These passages are usually located along a river or canal and are a typical Ghent phenomenon. The tour ends in the old port, where we visit the Matadi and the Batavia bicycle bridges, one of which has a special hydraulic push-up system. During the tour we briefly visit a large cohousing project and we also hear some historical facts and stories about the city of Ghent.  

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 14:30-17:00

A Technical Visit of Cycling Infrastructure from an Engineering Point of View 

 

 

The last few years several new cycling constructions such as bridges and underpasses have been built in Ghent. This visit tries to give an overview of these realisations. While making use of the cycling infrastructure ourselves, we will explain how they were built and what difficulties we had to overcome designing and building them.  

 

The range of visited constructions is wide, from new underpasses to steel and concrete bridges. 

 

The visit will be guided by the project leader of the visited projects. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Wednesday 19 June: 09:00-11:30

Bonding and Bridging: A visit to cycle city Deinze to Ghent on the cycling highway F7

 

 

This tour of approximately 25 km allows you to taste a Flemish menu of bicycle infrastructure and supporting measures to ensure safe and comfortable, both local and supra-local, bicycle travel. Here, the bike is already the ideal mode of transport - connecting people and places! 

 

This visit starts at 7:15am at Pendelbushalte Zuiderpoort (at the back of train station Ghent St. Pieters). A bus will be waiting to bring you to Deinze. You can park a bicycle in the vicinity of the busstop. In Deinze, bicycles will be available and a breakfast will be served. Deinze has won several times the “Bicycle municipality of Flanders” award in the category of municipalities between 20.000 and 50.000 inhabitants.  We will go on a local tour to see a number of bicycle measures such as the car free hour in the city centre.

 

Later in the morning, we will return to Ghent via the “Bicycle highway F7”. We will experience how these Bicycle Highways are shaped in Flanders connecting bicycle ways, bicycle streets, dead end streets (except for bicycles), bridges and viaducts over canals and highways. One of the bridges is a spiral bridge. 

 

Returning in Ghent, we will visit some local measures, such as an underpass under the  busy ring road. We will be back at the congress venue by 13:00h.

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Wednesday 19 June: 07:15-13:30

How traffic conditions changed appearance of cycling infrastructure 

 

 

The past decades Ghent evolved from a car oriented city to a cycling city. The Brugsevaart-axe shows how much our look on cycling infrastructure has changed.   

 

In the nineties, bringing cyclists quick and safe from suburban areas to the city centre wasn’t easy.  The canal route was chosen, because this limited the number of potential dangerous intersections. Cycling paths were built on the calmer left bank and continued under two existing canal bridges. This was an affordable way to facilitate safe crossings of the busiest roads.  

 

Two decades later, lots of people are biking. Mixed traffic is now implemented again to create more space for cycling next to each other or overtaking slower cyclists. It also offers more safety at intersections and leaves more space for greenery. 

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 14:30-17:00

Wednesday 19 June: 11:00-13:30 & 14:30-17:00

Go South! How to stay accessible as a company (terrain) in an attractive growing city? Active commuting and sustainable logistics!

 

 

On this bike tour, we will visit a number of companies (sites) and delve into how we can keep a growing attractive city like Ghent accessible by making commuting (and logistics) more active to reducing the need for cars. Other forms of mobility, such as the bicycle, take up less scarce space in a city (clogged motorways, car parking lots, access roads, etc.) and have many health benefits.

 

As a city, we have an activating policy. On the one hand, we strongly focus on the number of car and bicycle parking spaces to be developed at new or expanding companies. On the other hand, we offer support to our employers to develop an ambitious mobility plan so they can conduct their activities within the boundaries of what the track capacity can handle. This bike tour will explain some mobility cases from companies, the city and a mobility study agency.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Thursday 19 June: 14:30-17:00

Cycling through School Areas

 

 

During this cycling tour of 8 km we will experience a schoolstreet in action and make 9 stops in other schoolarea’s.


You will see and hear about measures taken by The Mobility Company to make the school area child-friendly. This includes measures in infrastructure and circulation as well as traffic regulation and collecting useful information. We also focus on routes to school, not only the school entrance. Moreover, we are not ashamed to show and talk about situations that still need a solution.

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Wednesday 19 June: 08:00-10:30 & 11:15-13:45

North Sea Port Flanders

 

 

Discover the dynamic essence of North Sea Port Flanders like never before on our technical bike tour through the harbour. Witness the remarkable transformation of the last 5 years, during which we've committed to advancing sustainable mobility with the establishment of new bike paths.

 

On this exclusive journey, we'll pedal through the breathtaking zones of Darsen, Sifferdok, and Mercator, where we'll observe groundbreaking developments in harbour and the bicycle infrastructure. You'll feel the pulsating heartbeat of the port.

 

Returning to Rigakaai, we'll reflect on the impact of our efforts in environmental protection, economic growth, and social progress. Join us on this inspiring journey and become part of the future of North Sea Port Flanders.

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Wednesday 19 June: 13:30-16:00

Starting location: Rigakaai 1, 9000 Ghent (bezoekerscentrum North Sea Port)

The 16 ingenious projects: Overcome barriers and travel along 16 bicycle tunnels and bridges and 100 meters of elevation in and around Ghent

 

 

A medium-sized European city like Ghent (270.000 inhabitants) not only arose at a junction of waterways and trade routes, it is now opened up and connected to the rest of Europe by means of the most modern infrastructures of roads and railways. However, they also form barriers for cyclists in and to Ghent that must be overcome.

 

On this brisk bike ride of ca. 18km along cycle highways F7, F40, F6 and F400, and urban main cycle routes, we climb 100 meters in elevation through no fewer than 16 bicycle bridges or tunnels. This gives us a good picture of different generations of infrastructural solutions of tunnels and bridges to overcome barriers and open up the city flawlessly and safely for the many cyclists in and to Ghent. Just apply some oil to your calves. The Province of East Flanders and the City of Ghent will guide you through this and propel you to unprecedented cycling heights in our flat country. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Thursday 20 June: 13:30-16:00

Bringing cycling culture in the city – Cycling Embassy of Ghent 

 

 

Embark on an insightful journey into Ghent's cycling culture with this technical tour hosted by the Cycling Embassy of Ghent. Discover the essential elements that transform a city into a cycling city. Witness firsthand the symbiotic relationship between infrastructure investment and active promotion of cycling. 

 

Explore a tapestry of services meticulously designed to enhance the cycling experience. You will visit various services aimed at promoting cycling, including 2 bicycle points with bike rental and parking management. Explore the 24h/24 vending machines and public pumps, be witness of a public campaign in the streets for citizens and the successful bike taxi service. And hear the successful stories, communication approaches and failures. 

 

Join us for an informative experience as we delve into the practical aspects of promoting and supporting cycling in urban areas. 

 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 14:30-17:00

Thursday 20 June: 13:30-16:00

Ghent, a cycling city for everyone? 

 

 

Ghent is a cycling city! In Ghent we want to make riding a bicycle accessible for everyone.   

 

Riding a bicycle is not for everyone so obvious as it seems. Some people experience thresholds, and we want to remove them. You never learned to ride the bicycle? We ‘ll teach you. You don’t have enough budget to buy your own bicycle? We’ll find you an affordable bicycle. You’re someone with reduced mobility? Come take a ride in our bicycle taxi.  

 

Leen Baetens and Liesbet Colson guide you through a city which is not for everyone as easy to bike. They illustrate the actions they take to fight transport poverty.  Get to know the Bicycle Taxi, the bicycle coach and the Community health centres.  

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 13:30-16:00

Social and circular bike economy 

 

 

We will cycle to the south of Ghent. During the ride we'll pass special bike drop-off points where people can get rid of their old bicycles by simple dropping them into the 'box'. We'll pay a visit to one of our bicycle repair shops. You'll get a short explanation on how we work and how we give opportunities to people with a distance to the labour market.  
 
The main attraction is our 'depot'. It houses hundreds of bicycles waiting for their owner or waiting to be disassembled into reusable parts. The parts are selected and collected to be used later on 'new' second hand bicycles. The 'depot' is the last stop for an abandonned bicycle in Ghent. We'll dive a bit deeper into the economics of abandonned bicycles and the opportunities it creates to provide jobs. 

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Tuesday 18 June: 10:45-13:15

Integrating cycling into the regional road network

 

 

Outside of the city center, the urban cycle network connects to the outskirts, neighbouring municipalities and towns. On the way, cyclists have to follow and cross regional and major urban arteries, ring roads and motorways. For the Agency for Roads and Traffic, the regional road authority of Flanders, it has become obvious over the years that we have to redesign the regional infrastructure to prioritise active road users. Therefore, we create dedicated lanes and paths for cyclists separated from car traffic on roads and intersections with higher traffic volumes and/or speed. Moreover, we find solutions in reassigning existing infrastructure, synergies with non-traffic-related measures and cooperation with many partners (municipalities, public transport services, waterways, etc.).

 

On this tour we visit some recent and less recent infrastructure projects of our agency illustrating how cycling is integrated in the regional road network in the outskirts south of Ghent.

 

 

 

 

Time slots

Wednesday 19 June: 14:30-17:00

Thursday 20 June: 09:00-11:30