Cycling is a European success story tells the first heading of the Declaration on Cycling as a climate friendly Transport Mode. Over the last decade, cycletourism has increased exponentially in Europe, both in terms of infrastructure & service and public attendance. The cycling tourism industry generates an annual turnover of €44bn. It represents nowadays a strategic priority for many territories in Europe mostly due to its potential for attracting addedvalue tourism. Cycle-tourism has clearly taken substantial advantage from the extended urban mobility developments based on bicycle. New populations of cyclists are claiming for new experiences brought by new models of sustainable tourism. This is also extremely challenging for territorial management and landuse planning since Cycletourism represents a powerful opportunity to provide infrastructures and create services and employments in remote areas. In that sense, natural heritage could deeply benefit of cycletourism. Many territories in Europe are characterized by extended natural heritage. Growth is always subordinated to the strict evaluation regarding preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems at risk. We remind that the EU2020 strategy fostering sustainable environmental development and an efficient use of resources is mandatory for taking off green and competitive economy. Therefore, ECOCICLE aims that bicycle becomes the official sustainable transport to access natural heritage while fostering endogenous economical revival through a popular modality of tourism. In order to determine the best conditions to develop cycletourism in natural heritage context, ECOCICLE builds on the experience of the partnership, especially on our advisory partner ECF. Main objective of ECOCICLE is to improve operational programs and regional development policies to allocate SF and other investments funds(about 50M€ is targeted through 24 new projects) in infrastructure and support to cycletourism service providers.
Expected Results (EN):
General and specific objectives gather the main issues addressed by ECO-CICLE. Networking, learning, policy relevance, investment for growth and capacity building are all concepts managed by the project.
The General objective of ECO-CICLE is: Improving Structural Funds programme and regional development policies to promote investments targeting cycle-tourism at natural heritage.
ECO-CICLE has 2 operational objectives;
- strengthening regional policies through learning and capitalization of practices during Phase 1 and
- integrating and deploying main outcomes within mainstream regional policies instruments at Phase 2.
Specific objectives are:
• Interregional learning: Exchange experiences, good practices, ideas and know-how linked to the promotion of cycle-tourism.
• Public authority capacity building: Improve local & regional public authority capacity to promote investment on sustainable mobility in natural areas.
• Natural heritage sustainable mobility model: Extend the success of urban sustainable mobility model to natural heritage environment by fostering bicycle as the official sustainable transport vehicle to access natural heritage and cycle-tourism the best option to promote the sustainable development at natural heritage.
• Stakeholders for green and competitive economy: Gather regional expertise as task force to explore the opportunities for the environmental protection and sustainable use of resources towards a green and competitive economy.
• Networking: Create a European network of local and regional public authorities for the promotion of cycle-tourism in natural heritage.
ECO-CICLE project partners roughly face the same initial conditions to boost sustainable cycle-tourism in natural heritage through SF: • Which actions to support? • What target funding? • How to apply for? Activities performed in the frame of ECO-CICLE should provide most elements of response.
Expected Outputs (EN):
ECO-CICLE will generate a set of results which are here below distributed per WP’s activities.
• Result of the Regional Stakeholder Focus Groups: Increasing skills and influence through stakeholders supporting main project cooperation activities.
• Result of Good practices - GP: Improving knowledge through top experiences on cycle tourism in natural heritage.
• Result of the Interregional policy learning events: Exchange knowledge and Increase professional capacity.
• Result of Action plans: Improving capacity for targeting Structural Funds and addressing Regional Operational Programme.
• Result of Management activities: Increase capacity to manage cooperation activities based project.
• Result of Communication: Increase capacity to disseminate the project outputs to the target groups and audiences.
The complete list of the project outputs is available at Phase 1 section.
ECO-CICLE Learning events comprise interregional workshop (3), study visit (4) and public conference (3). 10 are then scheduled over the 4 first semesters. Here below additional information on the partner’ targets for the main output indicators:
24 new projects are addressed to the regional policy instruments through Action plans (5 for LP1, 1 for PP2, 5 for PP3, 3 for PP4, 4 for PP5 and 6 for PP6). Some projects require funds to afford infrastructure costs (LP1 – 8M€ of SF and 1M€ of other funds, PP5– 2M€ of SF and 6M€ of other funds, PP6 – 30M€ of SF) while others are more management and technology oriented (PP2 – 575K€ of SF, PP4 – 350K€ of SF, PP3 – 125K€ of other funds). The leverage effect is patent for all projects.
People with increased professional capacity relays onto complete the ECO-CICLE learning process so mainly focusing on regional stakeholders. Total estimated is 222 on the basis of 40 for LP1, 42 for PP2, 20 for PP3, 40 for PP4, 30 for PP5, 40 for PP6 and 10 for PP7. Also, ECF is expecting major impact due to the number of stakeholders at EuroVelo. Each EuroVelo-EGWA cycling tourism conference has an attendance average of 100 people which means 200 people for the 2 conferences held in Brussels.
Charged on partners’ budget, total estimated number of regional stakeholders travelling to the ECO-CICLE learning events raises 94 attendees, 18 for LP1, 15 for PP2, 12 for PP3, 20 for PP4, 15 for PP5, 14 for PP6. This expertise is crucial to improve the confluence of all cooperation activities. Knowledge gained through the interregional policy learning workshop, study visits and conferences can only spread to the entire region through the involvement of stakeholders.
Total appearance in Media estimated by partners is 71 standing for 13 for LP1, 4 for PP2, 4 for PP3, 12 for PP4, 10 for PP5, 10 for PP6 and 16 for PP7. LP1/PP6 and ECF will assume intense media dissemination due to the high number of targets. ECO-CICLE will benefit from the EuroVelo audience and will publish its news at the EuroVelo newsletter for professionals (1,200 subscribers).