EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference Parallel Sessions: Session B – Cycle highways and cycle tourism: Is there a synergy?


The EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference 2018 will take place on 26-28 September. In this series of articles, we present you the six parallel sessions of the conference, in which speakers from 11 different nationalities will address cycle tourism topics such as innovations, communication, infrastructure and intermodality. All sessions are linked to the theme for this year’s Conference, which is “Experiencing the Unique”.

Session B – “Cycle highways and cycle tourism: Is there a synergy?” will take place on 27 September, from 11:15 to 12:45. As a backbone of a regional cycle network, cycle highways connect different cities, towns or major workplaces. They are characterized by a new, higher standard of design, build and maintenance. They also require wider cooperation on regional or even national levels. In return they extend the range of daily cycling from city-wide to region-wide and create new opportunities for active mobility. Can there be a synergy between cycle highways and cycle tourism? The session will explore this question through different stages of cycle highway projects – from planning through design and construction to monitoring and evaluation.

The speakers in this session are Bert Celis, Bart Jansen, Tina Caers and Monica Silvestrini (all from Belgium). Read on to discover who they are and what they will be talking about in this session!

Bert Celis

Bert Celis is the co-founder and coordinator of Flanders’ Bike Valley, where he now occupies the position of Innovation manager. Flanders’ Bike Valley (“The Global Cycling Center”) was established in 2013 as one of the first bottom-up clusters in Flanders, as it was founded by 4 local SME’s. Flanders’ Bike Valley focuses on 6 major topics: Mobility, Sports (involvement of the Belgian Cycling Foundation and the Belgian Olympic Committee), Safety & Healthcare, Science & Technology, Industry & Government and Tourism.

Bert has extensive knowledge of innovation and project management for breakthrough projects in the industry. He follows-up every project within Bike Valley and welcomes all new open innovation initiatives and ideas from the biking sector. His specializations lie in the Aerodynamics (cycling wind tunnel) and Cycling Performance Management sectors. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Bert will give a presentation titled BikeValley: CHIPS.

CHIPS (Cycle Highways Innovation for smarter People Transport and Spatial Planning) is a project that develops and promotes cycle highways as an effective and cost efficient low carbon solution for commuting towards and from urban employment poles. CHIPS demonstrates that, especially in combination with the growing number of e-bikes, cycle highway innovation can effectively get commuters out of their cars.

Bart Jansen - Photo

Bart Jansen graduated as a civil engineer at the Catholic University of Leuven – campus De Nayer. After this, he did a master-after-master study in industrial management, with a specialization in transportation and logistics. Bart has gained professional experience over the past 9 years as project engineer and/or project manager in urban infrastructure projects, both in the design and implementation phases. Having built up a very broad knowledge, Bart is able to manage the design of urban infrastructure projects from beginning to end. He functions as contact person for the clients and leads the design team.

Bart is a bike-enthusiast. He daily travels to work by bike and frequently rides his race bike. Bart had the opportunity to use this interest also professionally by being project manager of two challenging cycling infrastructure projects: ‘Fietsen Door De Heide, Maasmechelen’ and ‘Cycle Highway F44, Dendermonde’. These projects are still running at the moment. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, he will give a presentation titled The Cycle Highway Accelerator.


Monica Silvestrini, coordinator of the Mobility Department at the Province of Limburg, will talk about how High-rate bike paths for commuting offer opportunities for touristic cycle networks. Monica is the contact person for Limburg’s Provincial Mobility Point, which support companies and private institutions in the submission and implementation of their projects linked to a more sustainable commuting from or to their business location. Monica also works toward the realization of a functional cycle route network and cycle highways together with municipalities.


Aleksander Buczynski, Infrastructure Officer at the ECF, will be the last speaker in this session. He will introduce the lobbying work that ECF does on the European Road Infrastructure Safety Management (RISM) and the latest developments regarding the update of the RISM directive. His presentation will include examples of good and bad practice from the Trans-European (TEN-T) road network, how they are affecting cycle highways and cycle tourism, and how better RISM framework could help the development of both of them.

Aleksander, from Poland, started with studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Warsaw. The last 8 years before joining ECF he worked at the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (Polish national road administration), on cycling projects and road safety in general.

The moderator of this session will be Adam Bodor, who is currently the Advocacy and EuroVelo director of the ECF. His cycling carrier started as board member of ECF in 2004 and he was the first “ministerial commissioner responsible for cycling” and the co-chair of the inter-ministerial working group for cycling in Hungary form 2005 to 2010. He coordinated the preparation and implementation of the first national cycling strategy of Hungary for the 2007-2013 period. This strategy served as a basis to allocate 180 million Euros to construct 2000 km of new cycling infrastructure, to implement the first national standard and the GIS based monitoring system of cycling infrastructure, to introduce a more cycling friendly highway code, to start cycle trainings for kids, to organize a bike to work campaign and to create more cycling friendly cities.

Since working for ECF Ádám reorganized the management of EuroVelo and achieved its first recognition by the European institutions. Since 2016 he has been coordinating the advocacy work of ECF and the preparation of the EU cycling strategy. [Source]