Mayor Rolf Kieser from Brackenheim can be proud. The city council of the city in Baden- Württemberg has put up a great performance in the nationwide “Stadtradeln” (“City Cycling”) competition. In its very first participation, the city council won the title of “Best Newcomer” in the category “Most Bicycle Active Local Parliament”. 19 of the 30 local politicians covered a total of 3,662 km on 21 contiguous days between May and September. Brackenheim citizens were also busy.
Until now, the Brackenheim community was primarily known as the birthplace of Theodor Heuss, the first President of the German Federal Republic, and the largest red wine community in Germany. It is even world market leader for the Lemberger variety. The hilly landscape with its sunny and fertile vineyards provides no inkling that Brackenheim, with seven other boroughs, are happy to get on their bikes and are committed to promoting cycling at the municipal level. That also appears to be an exception in the traditional car state of Baden-Württemberg. In memory are still the violent protests against an amendment of the building law by the state government which made the provision of bicycle parking spaces for private homes and apartments mandatory.
“Baden-Württemberg has so far only been represented once among the eleven award-winning municipalities – by Brackenheim,” says climate protection manager Thomas Königstein, who is responsible for the implementation of Local Agenda 21 for sustainable ecological and social urban development in the town council. The projects range from psychosocial care to the “Citizens against Right Wing” initiative to the design of attractive hiking and biking trails around the Haberschlacht district. A group of Active Agenda cyclists meets once a week and is open to all those interested in participating. In addition to numerous individuals – from schoolchildren to senior citizens – this year’s city cyclists took part in around 40 teams, some of whom covered several thousand environmentally friendly kilometers.
With all the joy over the recent success of his council colleagues, the mayor was quick to point out the commitment of its citizens. During the summer, according to the mayor, half of Brackenheim was on their feet or on their bike. For him, the more than 88,000 kilometres travelled by bicycle are an “impressive figure”.
Next year, Brackenheim’s climate protection manager has stated that they want to surpass 100,000 kilometers and even become German champion as a local council, “because we will no longer be newcomers”.
There is a recognisable competitive spirit in the Swabian community. After the excellent beginning one is keen to achieve even more.
Stadtradeln (City Cycling) is a further-developed project based on a Nuremberg model sponsored by the Climate Alliance campaign. Climate Alliance is the largest network of cities, towns and counties to protect the global climate, with more than 1,700 members in 26 European countries. Stadtradeln serves to protect the climate as well as to promote cycle use and can be implemented throughout Germany by all communities (cities, municipalities, counties/regions) on 21 consecutive days – freely selectable in the period May 1 to September 30.
With the campaign, municipalities have a proven and easy-to-implement measure to become active in the important area of communication/public relations for sustainable mobility with relatively little effort and resources. Further information and registration: www.stadtradeln.de