In order to promote cycling and allow people to try out cycling, The Healthy City Bureau in Vilnius organized weekend cycling tours for residents. As well as been enjoyable for participants, the cycling tours provided an opportunity for people to engage if discussions about wider environmental issues and the benefits of sustainable transport modes.
Background & ObjectivesVilnius a city of more than 500,000 inhabitants in the New Member State Lithuania does not have a very strong cycling culture. In order to try and encourage more people to cycle a series of local cycling tours were organized.The main objectives of the campaign were to;
- Raise awareness of the importance of clean, energy efficient and sustainable transport
- Encourage the city inhabitants of the city to ride bicycles and walk.
- Highlight the value of the bicycle infrastructures in Vilnius
- Establish cooperation between organizations that promote healthy lifestyle in Vilnius
- Improve public health.
ImplementationAs part of the wider ADDED VALUE project, The Vilnius Healthy City Bureau, the Lithuanian Youth Tourist Centre and The Society of Heath, Sports and Tourism organized the weekend cycling trips between May-September, 2008. In total 15 Sunday cycling tours, 2 per month were organized.>The routes were chosen so than cyclists could make stops at prominent cultural heritage objects and famous nature spots, in order to enrich their knowledge of Vilnius’s history and natural environment. There were no restrictions regarding participation in the trips.5 routes were chosen;
- Route 1 started from the White Bridge (14km)
- Route 2 started from Cathedral Square to the site of Belmontas (25km);
- Route 3 started from Cathedral Square to Pū_koriai and Rokanti_kės mound (18km);
- Route 4 started from Cathedral Square and to the Botanical Gardens in Kairėnai (22km);
- Route 5 starts from Cathedral Square to Verkiai Manor (18km).