World Bicycle Day is the occasion to celebrate the important role of cycling as a sustainable and healthy mean of transportation. Several local and international actors in Geneva are actively engaged in promoting soft mobility practices, including biking and walking.
The Importance of Cycling
World Bicycle Day – celebrated each year on 3 June since 2018 (UNGA Resolution A/RES/72/272) – aims to advance the use of the bicycle as a means of fostering sustainable development, strengthening education, promoting health, preventing disease, promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and respect and facilitating social inclusion and a culture of peace. To spread awareness about its many benefits, the UN encourages Member States to develop a culture of cycling and organize initiative like national and local bike rides, while promoting pedestrian safety and cycling mobility.
For more than two centuries, bicycles have provided a simple, affordable, reliable, clean and environmentally fit sustainable means of transportation. While motorized private transport contribute significantly to climate change and air pollution, bicycle can constitute a sustainable alternative for many cities and regions. Promoting biking also contributes significantly to human health, through increased physical activity and improved air quality. According to the World Health Organization, safe infrastructure for walking and cycling is also a pathway for achieving greater health equity.
The Covid crisis has had a profound impact on urban transport systems and numerous cities have promoted soft mobility as the future of urban transport. Meeting the needs of people who walk and cycle continues to be a critical part of the mobility solution for helping cities decouple population growth from increased emissions, and to improve air quality and road safety.
Role of Geneva
By alphabetical order
Geneva Cities Hub
The Geneva Cities Hub was launched in 2020 to to bring forward the urban dimension in International Geneva. Emphasizing the contribution of cities to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the platform facilitates interactions between local governments and Geneva-based international actors with a focus on urban actors and concerns.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
The Transport, Health, and Environment Pan-european Programme (THE PEP) works at the nexus of transport, health and the environment to implement the goals of the Paris Declaration « City in Motion – People First! ». THE PEP’s projects focus on promoting sustainable urban transport, including by developing safe conditions for people to walk and cycle in cities.
Since 2018, UNECE is hosting the UN Road Safety Fund (UNRSF), which aims to help low- and middle-income countries to put in place effective national road safety systems with a focus on preventing traffic-related injuries.
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP has worked under the framework of THE PEP on jobs in green and healthy transport. The study « Riding Towards Green Economy: Cycling and Green Jobs – A Joint Report by UN Environment-WHO-UNECE « representing the first attempt to collect evidence from cities in the pan-European region on the number of cycling-related jobs was published in 2017, using a standardized approach, and highlights the role that green and healthy jobs can play. The report re-estimates that 435,000 additional cycling jobs might be generated, if 56 major cities of the pan-European region achieved the same cycling modal share as Copenhagen.
World Bike Relief
World Bicycle Relief is an international, non-profit organization registered as a foundation in Switzerland that specializes in large-scale, comprehensive bicycle distribution programs to aid poverty relief in developing countries around the world. Their programs focus primarily on education, economic development, health care and gender equality.
World Health Organisation (WHO)
WHO is working to help countries retain, promote and enable everyone to walk and cycle for recreation and transport. Among other activities, WHO is currently preparing policy guidance for including walking and cycling in health, urban planning and transport agendas, strengthening road safety and robust monitoring systems.
Association Transport et Environment (ATE) Genève
ATE is a nation-wide association working in favor of sustainable mobility. The Geneva hub develops and supports initiatives to create the necessary conditions for sustainable transportation in the region. Aside from the significant work on public transport, ATE Genève is supporting more extensive and safer bicycle infrastructure.
Canton of Geneva
The Canton of Geneva is encouraging the uptake of cycling by optimizing connections with public transport, creating of new, safe and unbroken bike paths and increasing bicycle parking spaces. In order to encourage this further, a financial support programme for purchasing electrically-assisted bicycles has been in place since 2010.
City of Geneva
The City of Geneva lends its full support to cycling. While its cycling policy primarily focuses on the extension of the network and the safety of cyclists, it also aims to promote cycling as a means of daily transport and a leisure activity.
Genèveroule is a non-profit association which pursues the double mission of promoting the use of bicycles and offering jobs for socio-professional integration. Genèveroule offers bicycle rentals around the city, repair shops and workshops, as well as support for companies to integrate cycling in their daily business.
ProVélo Geneva is an association that defends the interests of cyclists. It encourages the use of the bicycle as an environmentally friendly, healthy, silent and inexpensive means of transportation in the city and in the canton of Geneva. Its activities comprise various events, including guided bike tours, bike lessons and repair workshops.
Taupenivo is a Geneva-based tandem bicycle association for visually impaired people. Its goal is to offer people of all ages with visual impairments in Geneva and the surrounding area the possibility and pleasure of riding a tandem bike.
Union Vélocipédique Genevoise (UVG)
The UVG is a cantonal cycling association, affiliated to the Swiss Cycling Federation. It operated as the umbrella organization of the Geneva cycling clubs, the Velodrome Commission and various sports structures such as the Geneva Cycling Club (TSP Genève).
Celebrate World Bicycle Day
Events, initiatives and excursions to join and discover on the occasion of World Bicycle Day 2021.
Discover the excursions suggested by ProVélo (maps & leaflets available)
- World Bicycle Day – 3 June | United Nations
- Cycling in Geneva (EN/FR) | City of Geneva
- Bicycle map of the Canton of Geneva | Canton of Geneva
- Cyclist safety – An information resource for decision-makers and practitioners | WHO | 2020