EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference Parallel Sessions: Session E – Effective cycle network management


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 E – “Effective cycle network management” will take place on 27 September, from 14:15 to 15:45. Maintaining and improving cycle networks is a crucial task in cycle tourism. Important ingredients for the popularity of cycle trails include infrastructure, efficient stakeholder communication and network monitoring, improving links to cultural attractions as well as a better understanding of how to adapt public policies to the needs of cyclists. At a concrete level, we will learn about an innovative solution for cycle-path surfaces from the company that built the famous Van Gogh Path. We will then look at the impact of public policies in Portugal before listening to two best-practice examples of cycle network management in Belgium. We will also learn how cultural highlights can be integrated into a route and how to estimate its economic impact.

The speakers in this session are Harald Kuhn (The Netherlands), Ana Santos (Portugal), Monica Silvestrini, Eveline Sierens (Belgium), Mercedes Muñoz Zamora (Spain) and Richard Weston (United Kingdom). Read on to discover who they are and what they will be talking about in this session!

Harald Juhn

Harald Kuhn is Product Manager Smart Mobility at Heijmans. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference he will give a presentation titled Improving cycling experience with safe, comfortable and fun infrastructure. Heijmans is a Dutch company that combines activities in real estate, residential building and infrastructure, including cycling infrastructure.

The company has launched Heijmans Bikescout as a solution to make cycling safer. The Bikescout is an intelligent warning system that constantly monitors the speed and distance of oncoming cyclists, calculating their arrival time and notifying motorists via LED indicators in the road surface.

Ana Santos

Ana Santos is head of the Pedagogical Board of the Human Kinetics Faculty at Lisbon University and a member of research network CRIA. She did a Master in Anthropology and a PhD in Sociology, Education, Culture and Communication, both at Lisbon University. Ana Santos has coordinated and participated in research projects in the areas of sports, leisure and mobility, and she is the author of “The Tour of Portugal by Bicycle, Heritage, Narratives and Identities”. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, she will talk about the Ethnography of cycling in Portugal.


Monica Silvestrini, coordinator of the Mobility Department at the Province of Limburg, will give a talk titled Quality Monitoring of the Tourist Cycle Network in Limburg. 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.

Eveline Sierens final

Eveline Sierens is a socio-economic geographer. Since 2002 she is working at the tourism department of the province of Antwerp. She is leader of the ‘Route agency’. This team manages more than 8.000km of recreational bicycle-, walking- and equestrian routes in the province of Antwerp. In 2001 the province started with the system of cycle nodes. Today the network consist of 2.850 kilometers of nice and safe paths. The ‘Routedoctors’ maintain the corresponding signage and follow up notifications of users of the cycling network.

Eveline and her team also use the knowledge they have built up over the years to advise local authorities and entrepreneurs on the development of attractive route-products. Aside the traditional and still desired use of tangible maps, websites and online route platforms are the longer, the more used information sources. With this in mind, the tourism department of the province of Antwerp, together with publisher Lannoo, recently launched a digital route platform. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, she will give a talk titled Smart Collaboration on the Management of Recreational Cycle Routes.

Mercedes Mu+¦oz Zamora - photo

Mercedes Muñoz is the director of the European Greenways Association (EGWA), an international not-for-profit association which was created in 1998 in Namur (Belgium) with the aim of encouraging the creation and promotion of greenways in Europe. It brings together more than 50 different organizations from 16 European countries involved in the development of greenways. Since 2009 the General Secretary and executive office have been located in Madrid. Learn more at

Greenways are non-motorized routes which are safe, accessible and user-friendly, for all kinds of users. Most are based on disused railways and canal towpaths and so provide easy access to places of great beauty, often in mountainous areas, through tunnels and over viaducts (see full details in the Lille Declaration). At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, Mercedes will give a presentation titled Greenways Heritage: Innovation in Accessible Walking and Cycling Routes.


Richard Weston is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Central Lancashire, in the School of Business and Enterprise. Richard worked for over 10 years in the motor industry before entering higher education. In 2000 he graduated from Staffordshire University with a first degree in Economics, and in 2007 completed a PhD in housing at Nottingham Trent University.

Richard is research active within the area of tourism and is a member of the Institute of Transport and Tourism. At the EuroVelo and Cycle Tourism Conference, he will give a presentation titled Who comes and who spends? Understanding the demand and impact of cycle tourism on EuroVelo, the European cycle route network.

The moderator for this session will be Ernst Fahrenkrug, EuroVelo and Communications Assistant at the ECF. Ernst, from Germany, obtained his Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Bonn in Germany’s Rhineland. Then he worked at a development-policy research institution, the UN, a transatlantic consultancy, and a PR agency. Prior to joining the ECF, he spent nine years as a senior copy editor and translator at a major media-monitoring agency in Cologne.

Featured image: Heijmans Bikescout