Improving traffic culture and cycling conditions in Ljubljana

CIVITAS Initiative

After the embassy of Denmark proposed to organise a cycling exhibition entitled ‘Dreams on Wheels - Danish Cycling Culture for Urban Sustainability in the Ljubljana City Hall from 3 May to 10 May 2010’, the City of Ljubljana, the CIVITAS ELAN team and a few other organisations offered to continue with the cycling theme throughout the entire month. And that’s how May 2010 became a month of cycling - a campaign with a series of cycling events, from roundtables and workshops to other actions, aiming at raising awareness about positive aspects of cycling.

Two of the most important and effective events in terms of achieving the goal were knowledge-sharing events between Ljubljana and Copenhagen, titled ‘CIVITAS ELAN open academy: Establishing Cycling Infrastructure In South-eastern Part Of Ljubljana and “multi-event” Promenade On Breg’. The first one took place in the city hall on 20 May, where guest cycling experts Mr. Troels Andersen from cycling embassy of Denmark and Mr. Steffen Rasmussen from municipality of Copenhagen lectured about how to make Ljubljana a cycling friendly city, based on experience from Danish capital. The next day they put the theory into practice, as the CIVITAS ELAN team organised a field workshop - educational cycling trip around the South-Eastern part of Ljubljana, showing how current “car-oriented” infrastructure could be transformed into a “cycling-oriented” one. One of the most successful CIVITAS ELAN events in Ljubljana was Promenade on Breg, which took place on 27 May and was a combination of three “sub-events”: an exhibition of advanced and interesting bikes, named Cycling Is Cool, a creative workshop for children, who painted their own plain white helmets, entitled ‘Design Your Own Helmet’, and an open air coffee shop on Breg: ‘Higher Culture, Safer Cycling’ - a roundtable about traffic culture. The idea for this topic derived from a statement by the Danish ambassador in Slovenia, HE Anita Hugau: “Ljubljana has a pretty good infrastructure, but the traffic culture is low.” In order to influence traffic behaviour, the CIVITAS ELAN team organised this discussion and invited several important opinion leaders, decision makers and experts to participate. The experts included the minister of culture, the Danish ambassador, the deputy mayor, the representative of the police directorate Ljubljana, experts on criminology and psychology and the president of the road safety council. The activities were carried out on Breg - a riverbank, which has recently been turned into a pedestrian zone - to additionally promote new traffic arrangements, which provide more space for pedestrians and cyclists instead of motorised vehicles.

Author: Vita Kontić

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