The Cycling Experience

A city that aims to be livable, energetic and sustainable simply needs a healthy bike culture. That’s the way we look at it.
Or better: that’s the way we have looked at it for the past 40 years. Therefore we are happy to invite Velo-city 2017. To inspire the world with what we have done in the past four decades, to show what we are still planning to do and to hear and learn from others.

Welcome (back) to Groningen.

About Groningen and it’s cycling culture.

Groningen is many things. But above all it is a city of bicycles. Over 60% of all traffic movements in the city of Groningen are bicycle-related. In large part the result of our vision of a livable city, conceived in 1977 with the Traffic Circulation Plan. A plan that combined less car-traffic from the city-center with the design of an extensive bicycle infrastructure. At Velo-city 2017 we like to share what we have done and learned since.

Compact City

Groningen works from the compact city-concept. It means that all urban planning is developed from a notion of being able to live, work or go to school and spend time off at close distances. Obviously, this is related to the use of bicycles: due to the city’s compactness, everything is within easy cycling distance. So, yes, we cycle almost everywhere around town. We invite Velo-city to ride with us!

City of Talent

Groningen is known as a city of knowledge and innovation. A place offering scope for talent. The population of Groningen has an average age of just over 36, making it the youngest of all city populations in The Netherlands. Groningen harbours several colleges for higher education and the second eldest University in The Netherlands. Indeed, we’re a city that is young at heart and we love to share the talent we’ve got.

City of Events

Groningen is a vibrant city. We believe in the power of events. Events to entertain, events to educate, or both. We have welcomed, facilitated and organized hundreds of national and international events. Everything from small scale conferences to nationwide televized public spectacles. In close cooperation with our city’s partners Marketing Groningen and the Groningen Convention Bureau.

1977: In the 60s and 70s, the increase in car use caused accessibility and livability-related problems in Groningen’s inner city.
With its Traffic Circulation Plan the city opted for a radical solution: all motorized through traffic in the inner city was banned in favor of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.


60% bike-related movements in this city

Topics we plan to address during Velo-city 2017

Velo-city 2017 will feature a wide variety of topics at exciting locations in a festival athmosphere. We will take a 360 degree view on cycling. Presenting surprising, relevant and interesting subjects. To shed new light, give new perspectives, propose solutions and enhance discussion.

Gezin met fiets

Urban planning and infrastructure

How to lay out a city. For all its users in general and cyclists in particular.


Healthy ageing & bicycles. What, when and how.

Innovation and Technology

The latest solutions, trends, future visions in bicycle hardware and software.


Challenging R&D topics. For delegates and the student population of Groningen. Let’s learn together.

Creative city and Art

From Bicycle Design workshops to a Bicycle Film Festival. Making creative use of the subject, in any which way.


A Bicycle race on the highway around the city? A boattrip and cycle-tour on the Wadden Islands? Surprising sideprograms for delegates and their partners? Of course: A conference should be good fun as well.

Preliminary map to Velo-city 2017

Groningen is a compact city and we will make good use of that during Velo-city 2017. The conference will take place at different locations all over town - all at a bikeable distance from each other. Apart from the main conference location MartiniPlaza, the map above shows a number of planned locations.

Further inspiration

Learn more about the Groningen Velo-city 2017 bid or cycling in Groningen?

Download Groningen Bid — Inspiration book

View Groningen — The World’s Cycling City

The Velo-City series is an initiative by the European Cyclists’ Federation.

For more information about the proposal of Groningen for Velo-city 2017 please contact Annette Stikkelorum, Project Manager candidacy Velo-city, City of Groningen.