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The City of Bologna and SRM - the Agency for mobility and local public transport - invite European Cities and urban cyclists to the third edition of the friendly competition "European Cycling Challenge 2014 - ECC2014".
The initiative will be held throughout the month of May 2014. In each participating city, cyclists will join their City Team, and their daily trips will be tracked down via a free, smartphone app. Each trips cycled will add up to a grand total of kilometres travelled in their city. The City which will have cycled more kilometres will win the Challenge.
The initiative has achieved excellent results in its previous editions, and it was awarded with the CIVITAS Award 2013 for Public Participation.
In May 2013, in fact, more than 3,000 cyclists in 12 European cities took part (Bologna, Padua, Rimini, Tallinn, West London, London-Lewisham, Dublin, Lille, Utrecht, Tartu, Kaunas and Vilanova de Famaliçao), cycling more than 300,000 km, with many people often giving up their car so they could use their bikes.
The benefit for the cities involved in terms of image has been twofold:
The league tables, both on a local level (i.e. within a city) and at the European level (i.e. between different cities), are updated in real time and they are a fun way for citizens, office colleagues and friends to compete both against each other and against rival cities.
In previous editions, this successful way of keeping the ranking up-to-date in real time has given rise to an even more entertaining way of involving citizens through word of mouth and social networks, along with some media coverage on local radio stations and in the newspapers. Participants have enjoyed climbing up league tables! They have engaged in various activities on social media such as texting about the Challenge, sharing events, posting about their performances. Social networks made it easier to create groups of urban cyclists with whom local authorities can dialog on cycling issues.
At the end of the Challenge, participating Cities will be able to anonymously request information on all routes cycled. They will be able to elaborate these data and come up with interesting statistics to support planning and validation of their own cycling networks. For example, it is possible to create maps that identify what are a city's most used routes, and then check the validity of actual cycling networks and future plas.
The City of Bologna and SRM are confident that the 2014 edition will obtain even better results in terms of participation and visibility, confirming once again the validity of the initiative and offering to participating Cities an opportunity to dialog with their own citizens on the issue of sustainability and the use of bicycles as a mode of urban transport. For these reasons, we are therefore proud to invite your City to take part in 2014.
For more information and registrations, interested Cities can visit www.ecc2014.eu, or contact SRM via telephone at +39-051-361328 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.