The Citybuilders Symposium is full! Thank you for all the interest. It's not too early to begin organizing and fundraising for a 2017 study tour!
"A study tour provides an unparalleled opportunity to learn about how to make your city more liveable, dynamic, vibrant and more successful. It was invaluable for ideas, inspiration, building relationships and for motivating others to get involved. What we accomplished in 5 days - the level of commitment and excitement - would have taken months back home."
- Brian Payne, President at Central Indiana Community Foundation, Copenhagen 2015
"You look at the examples as you're traveling around and you immediately think back to an area in your own city and you go 'Hey, we could this here or here.' You think in the small scale of what you can do ... You think about ten years from now and what do you want your city to look like, 25 years from now. You see it from a micro level; you see it from a macro level, the only way you actually get to see it, is to be here."
- Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh, Netherlands 2014
The CityBuilders Symposium is designed for teams of multidisciplinary, cross-sector innovators, change agents, and visionaries. Individuals not connected to a city delegation are not eligible to attend, with rare exceptions. One of the best aspects of PeopleForBikes study tours is the peer-to-peer strategizing that happens between members of the delegation, and formulating a shared vision with a team is a key outcome.
The most effective delegations include senior leadership from multiple sectors and agencies. Because of the importance of political leadership in project implementation, it is strongly recommended that delegations include both elected officials and agency staff from public works, transportation or other departments tasked with designing and maintaining city streets. Public sector staff and officials typically form the backbone of a delegation, along with leaders from the private, academic, institutional, non-profit and philanthropy sectors. Having a broad representation of leaders from different vantage points on the city results in rich conversations about how to adapt the best ideas from Denmark to opportunities at home.
A minimum of four people from a single community, organization, or sector are required to form a delegation. Up to 20 from a single location may form a delegation.
Delegates do not need to be regular bike riders or outspoken advocates for cycling, but should be open to new ideas, have influence in transportation and/or urban quality issues, a have a strong desire to be proactive about making their city a better place. During the Symposium most group travel will be on bikes.
The experience is personalized, collaborative, and intensive. During the course of the week, participants will travel to different locations around Copenhagen for an insiders’ perspective on Danish urbanism and form deep collaborative partnerships with peers from across the U.S. Delegates return home with a clear and inspired vision for how their city could be better, a new network of allies and collaborators, and strategies to speed the implementation of local projects.
A PeopleForBikes professional study tour for city leadership delegations interested in drawing ideas and inspiration from world-class bicycling cities. The Symposium runs from June 6-11, 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Since 2009, study tours have been a core element of the Green Lane Project, a campaign to accelerate the introduction of protected bike lanes and other next-generation infrastructure into the U.S. street vocabulary. Study tours are highly effective tools for catalyzing the vision, courage, and momentum necessary to change the way streets work at home.
Based on the proven Green Lane Project study tour model, the 2016 CityBuilders Symposium will use the backdrop of world-class Danish urbanism to frame a rolling 5-day workshop and conversation about how to transform U.S. streets. It will help innovative planners, engineers, executive staff, elected officials, community and business leaders draw on the experience of global leaders and U.S. peers to develop their own unique visions for thriving cities and people-focused places.
The trip will combine meetings with Danish officials and transportation experts, hands-on site visits by bike, and facilitated strategizing on how to implement the best ideas in the U.S. context. The content balances the micro (planning and designing neighborhoods where bicycling is appealing for all ages and abilities) to the macro (the role of streets in making great communities and cultural anthropology). The emphasis is not on bicycling as a goal in itself, but as a tool for better cities.
The price is $5,000 per person, not including airfare to Copenhagen. Registration includes all expenses from airplane to airplane, including five-nights single occupancy hotel room, all meals, all ground transportation, bike rental, course materials, internationally-renowned speakers and professional guides. Please follow the registration process below before making a payment.
Full payment is due June 1, 2016. Space is limited–register early to guarantee your spaces.
Payment details, cancellation policies, and other information can be found here.
Registration for the 2016 Citybuilders Symposium is now closed. We hope you can join us in 2017!
If you are part of a delegation that has already confirmed its registration, please submit your contact information online.
FAQs for prospective participants can be found here.
A sample agenda from 2015 is availble here. A draft of the 2016 agenda will be available soon.