Press release, 27-06-06
Biking Beyond Borders Goes East

International Youth Exchange project in Georgia

2-10 July, 2006 in Batumi and Tbilisi

The most used reason nowadays for Georgians to be late on appointments is:” I was stuck in the traffic jam”. In daytime cars are standing still on the main streets, causing even more air pollution and noise they would normally do, leaving pedestrians and a single cyclist behind coughing and sick of the gases.
One of the key priorities of the Tbilisi government for 2007 is improvement of infrastructure. But will they include strategies to reduce car traffic and give more space for pedestrians and cyclists, will they think of making the city more clean and safe for children to play and in general for people to live in?

This week 30 young people from Netherlands, Estonia, Hungary, Moldova and Armenia will come together in Georgia to get involved in a youth exchange project on the subject 'cycling in cities'.

The participants will do cycling excursions in and around Batumi assisted by the Tbilisi Cyclists Club, conduct workshops and presentations about cycling promotion and sustainable transport in general, and make a creative street performance on the Batumi boulevard on Friday morning 7th of July from 11 o’clock.
Also there will be cultural presentations of the different countries in the evenings.

In Tbilisi at the 9th of July the group will join the street parade of the 'Footprints Festival' on Sunday afternoon. With a colourful parade of people on bicycles, skateboards and boots, joined by banners and music, they will show that young people CARE! They care about our environment, the city we live in, the air we breathe! Join at 2 o’ clock in front of the City Hall for this festive parade along Rustaveli Avenue. The parade will end on Republic Square with street music performance, break-dance and more.

One of the project participants decided to give a good example and came by bicycle from Budapest to Batumi. Not only because he likes to cycle long distances and because it's an environmentally clean way to travel, but also to hand out personally the "Sustainable Mobility Guide for municipal leaders" to local city authorities on the way.
In Batumi and Tbilisi local authorities and NGOs will also be invited to present this Guide that shows how all over the world cities have become more clean, green and safe to live in.

This exchange project is organized by Falkor I.C.Y. from Netherlands and the Academy for Peace and Development (APD) from Georgia.

The project is financed with support of the European Community and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Tbilisi.

The Footprints Festival is an initiative of CYEN, the Caucasus Youth Environmental Network, and sponsored by the British Council.

For more info: see: www.falkor.org/projects/bbb.html, www.apd.ge