On the 29th of March, as part of the project «Cycling» implementation, representative of the Directorate for Development of the St.Petersburg and Leningrad Region Transport System Ksenia Lipatova held a seminar «Cycling in border areas. Current state, safety, opportunities» for attendees of the course «Global Innovation Market» (prof. Anna Mishuk). More than 30 students took part in the event.
In the first half of the seminar, Ksenia Lipatova told the students about South-East Finland – Russia CBC Programme and project «Cycling», putting emphasis on its uniqueness. it is the first project in Russia aimed at development of cross-border cycling.
One of the main goals of the project is to guarantee safe, secure, smooth and efficient border-crossing for cyclists. That is why cycling safety became the main topic of the presentation. When sharing the main results of the project research work, Ksenia Lipatova put focus on cycling safety. She did not only share the main conclusions but also provided recommendations, including those on necessary elements to put on a bicycle for safety and proper cycling gear, and answered questions from the audience. Participants tested and refreshed their knowledge of traffic rules for cyclists.
The topic of innovation in the field of cycling awoke great interest of the audience. Currently, considering COVID-19 pandemic, there can be seen growth in popularity of a bicycle from both transport side, where the main tendencies are creation of comfortable urban environment and use of eco-friendly transport, and from the tourism side with the growth of domestic tourism, shift in interests towards individual travel, increasing popularity of eco-tourism and growth in understanding of great economic potential of cycling infrastructure and cycling tourism development.
Using one of the Eurovelo network cycling route, Donau cycling route, as an example, Ksenia Lipatova explained to students how an idea of a long-distance cycling route was not supported at first but later was implemented thanks to cross-border cooperation instruments and enthusiastic people at the local level. The created route did not only become one of the most popular in Europe but continues to contribute greatly to local economies of the territories it runs through.
In addition, students received information on outside-the-box cycling infrastructure solutions – cycle path through the trees and sunken cycle bridge in Limburg, Belgium as well as interesting innovations from Russia and around the globe such as luminescent cycle paths, cycle paths with solar energy elements, bike cafes, virtual cyclist passports and more.
The last part of the seminar was devoted to a practical exercise: students were tasked to come up with their own innovative ideas for promotion and development of cycling and cycling infrastructure that could be implemented in the Leningrad Region and St.Petersburg. Upon discussion, students presented a number of creative ideas and solutions.
At the end of the seminar, participants expressed gratitude to the Directorate’s representative for friendly interactive atmosphere, interesting experience and food for thought.