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Press release – for immediate release
18 September 2017

Walking & cycling: how you can contribute to cleaner more breathable air in the city

The International Cycling Conference 2017, bridging the gap between research and practice

Do cyclists in Berlin and Paris react differently to aggressive car drivers? How are cities like London encouraging people to get on their bike in a bid to improve their health? Which tradition has made Colombia's capital Bogotá world-famous among bicycle fans? Questions like these and many more will be discussed as speakers from all over the world gather today at the International Cycling Conference 2017 (ICC) in Mannheim.

Taking place in the birthplace off the bicycle where it was invented over 200 years ago, the German Environment Agency (UBA) together with the EU funded PASTA project and other partners have organised a three day international conference bringing together over 300 participants from science and cities to promote active lifestyles as part of our everyday travel routines.

"Without a clear shift from private car traffic to walking and cycling, our cities will soon find themselves out of breath - in the truest sense of the word," says UBA President Maria Krautzberger. "Air pollutants, lack of space on the streets and noise are detrimental to the health of people and the environment and are unacceptable. This is why conferences like the ICC 2017 are so important because they bring people together who want to change something.

Walking or taking the bike instead of the car, it is not only environmentally friendly, climate-friendly, space-saving and helps reduce street noise, but is also beneficial for your health. With physical inactivity identified by the World Health Organization as a leading risk factor for ill-health in the European Region, active mobility is one way to reach the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

On 20.09 PASTA will present how European cities are making the link between transport and health and promoting active mobility like walking and cycling as a way to integrate physical activity into citizen’s daily lives.

On 21.09 the Pan-European Program will host a Workshop: "Relay Race" with representatives from German ministries and offices, from countries such as Russia, Armenia, Serbia or Azerbaijan to discuss the synergies between three policy areas: transport, health and environmental which are traditionally dealt with separately.

The partners of the ICC are the EU Research Project PASTA (Physical Activity Through Sustainable Transportation Approaches), the PEP (Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Program), the City of Mannheim, the ECF (European Cyclists' Federation), the Difu (Deutsches Institut für Urbanistik) and GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation).

This event is taking place during the European Mobility Week (16-22 September 2017) a campaign where cities across Europe showcase sustainable transport initiatives and raise awareness about practical solutions to tackling urban challenges, such as air pollution.

- END

NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information, please contact: Helen Franzen, PASTA communications co-ordinator, on:
Helen Franzen
ICLEI European Secretariat
Tel: +49-761 / 3 68 92-0
E-mail: helen.franzen@iclei.org

Image: available here

More about PASTA

PASTA (Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches)  is an EU-funded project that comprises of leading experts from the fields of health, physical activity, transport modelling, safety and air quality.

PASTA researchers reached more than 10.000 volunteers in seven cities around Europe: Antwerp, Barcelona, London, Orebro, Rome, Vienna, Zurich.

For more information about how other cities are integrating walking and cycling initiatives form across Europe, visit: www.pastaproject.eu/resources/publications

To find out about the partners involved, please visit: www.pastaproject.eu/about-pasta/pasta-partners
For more information on the PASTA project, visit www.pastaproject.eu

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 602624-2.