SEVILLE, Spain (BRAIN)—The Velo-city 2011 Seville Conference got started on the right foot Wednesday with Norway's former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland giving a rousing speech to those 900 in attendance.
In 1987, Brundtland—a political powerhouse—authored one of the most influential and renowned U.N. reports ever published titled “Our Common Future." The Brundtland report actually still carries a punch and although much has been
accomplished. She points out that inclusive and comprehensive processes are still very much needed—processes spanning the private and public sectors—to accomplish the ultimate goals set out in the report. She warns that the trends are still unsustainable, the climate threat real and urgent, and our common ability and shared responsibility still lacking to secure the changes that we all depend upon.
Brundtland points out that the Rio slogan ”Think Globally and Act Locally” although inspiring and to the point, perhaps could also have been exchanged for a quite
powerful and relevant, “Act Globally and Think Locally." Seville is a perfect example of this practice—within a mere three years the city has re-invented itself and established an urban environment that truly improves the quality of life for all its citizens.
“Above and beyond what all of us can contribute to more sustainable cities and other local communities, we also need to act globally," she said. "In our globalized world, the threats we face are interconnected. That is why today, we must respond to global health challenges as robustly as we do to terrorism. To poverty and to environmental threats as robustly as we do to nuclear proliferation.”
The Velo-city conference series is the premier international cycling planning conference series in the world. Velo-city seeks to encourage cycling as a part of daily transport and recreation. Velo-city is well known for gathering all those involved in policy, promotion and provision for bicycles. The conference is now a recognized meeting point—and for the host city, a welcome opportunity to present and launch extraordinary bicycle initiatives.