Barcelona and Madrid's air pollution levels exceed Euro legislation, while bike-friendly city goes a year without coming close

Seville bike culture a breath of fresh air

Host city of the 2011 Velo City has today highlighted a contrast in air pollution between its own bicycle-friendly city and other major Spanish cities.

Last week the air pollution in Madrid and Barcelona again reached alarming levels, exceeding limits set by European legislation. Seville, however, has not been on alert for high levels of contamination for one single day in the year 2010. In fact, a statement issued by the Municipal Office for Environment in Seville, underlines that the city enjoys some of the cleanest air in Spain.

It is estimated that 60,000 cycle daily in Seville and that 30 per cent of new cyclists in the area have completely shunned cars in favour of two wheels. The quality of the air in the Southern city is just one of the many reasons the 2011 instalment of Velo City will be hosted in Seville – taking place from March 23rd to 25th.

Antonio Rodrigo Torrijos, Deputy Mayor of Seville comments: "We are off to a great start. The conference is just four weeks away and already 730 participants have registered. Not only will Seville benefit directly from the event (estimates range from 1,5 to 2 million Euros); our city will also be put on the map as we are sure that every visitor will enjoy this beautiful, cycle-friendly city, that will serve as the centre of the world debate on cycling as a means of urban transport.”

Scientists from the Seville Hispalense University and the Pablo de Olavide University will, for the first time, open a fresh
debate on the Velo-city conference floor. The Velo-city 2011 conference in Seville represents as a milestone of change between last year’s conference in Copenhagen and the 2012 edition in Vancouver.

The conference conclusions will focus on all the benefits of cycling for citizens and the society and will be captured in the ‘Declaration of Seville’. This final document will be included in the agenda for the next world summit of Ministers of Transport hosted by the International Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig in May 2011. Representatives of more than 50 countries will meet in Leipzig to discuss the theme “Transport for Society”.

Bids to host the 2014 Velo City are now being welcomed by organisers.

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