IMBA Europe Summit – Mountain Biking in Peri-Urban Areas

22 - 24 May 2024 | MÖDLING – VIENNA WOODS – AUSTRIA

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In 2024 the IMBA Europe annual Summit will take place at the Stadtgalerie in Mödling, a small town located south of Vienna, bordering the south-western part of the Wienerwald. After two consecutive IMBA Europe Summits in Alpine destinations, Val di Sole (2022) and Valposchiavo (2023), we will shift the focus of our 2024 edition to mountain biking in peri-urban areas, with its own unique challenges and opportunities. Peri-urban means these places are located on the outskirts of cities and large urban areas, it’s the interaction between urban and rural / natural areas. It’s where most of your local rides takes place, green spaces where the benefits of providing outdoor recreation opportunities need to be balanced with nature and biodiversity goals.

What to expect? 

The IMBA Europe Summit is a two-to-three-day educational conference, a unique opportunity for a cross sectoral knowledge exchange in the field of mountain biking. The Summit combines keynote speeches from opinion leaders with workshops, site visits, panel debates and social activities, including daily (group) rides. Anybody working or active in the MTB sector could register for the first two days of the event. Day three is dedicated to IMBA Europe members, networks and partners. As part of our ambition to have more women involved in mountain biking, we have the ambition to kickstart a new European Women in MTB network at this years conference. More women than ever will be involved as speaker or presenter and during the event, we will facilitated networking & riding opportunties for women.

Is this conference for me? 

Who can you expect at this conference? From mountain bike advocacy groups, trail builders and professionals in the bicycle and tourism industry, to land managers, academics, public authorities (cities & regions), and guides and instructors.  More and more professionals are working in the emerging domain of mountain biking and the need to learn from each other, exchange knowledge, to get inspired and build partnerships has only increased.

Keynotes and panels 

  • IUCN – Sports for Nature Framework
  • IMBA – Connection dots in MTB communities around health, economic development, and inclusion
  • BikeSolutions – Peri-urban trail development projects
  • Austrian MTB Institute – 4 pillars of a MTB strategy for Austria
  • DMBinS – The Scottish MTB Strategy – from paper to successful delivery for all stakeholders

Panels

  • Challenges and opportunities of Peri-Urban areas for mountain biking
  • MTB Cities & Regions – stepping stones towards MTB friendly & sustainable cities & regions

Breakout sessions 

  • Visitor management in peri-urban areas
  • New perspectives on inclusive & sustainable trails
  • MTB and Mental Health Programs
  • Women in outdoor sports
  • Trail advocacy with multiple stakeholders, from forestry to industry
  • Community based peri-urban trail projects
  • Development strategies for urban and peri-urban areas

Site visits 

The Summit is not only about talking and networking. Thursday afternoons program is reserved for site visits to have a look at various MTB facilities, from trail centers to peri-urban bikepark and natural surface trails. Attendees can select the site visit of there preference or participate in a practical workshop.

  • Wexl Trails 
  • Trailcenter Wien / Hohewand Wiese
  • Workshop trail inspection / maintenance MTB Area Anninger

About the region

The Wienerwald (Vienna Woods) are a forested highland region spanning areas northwest and southwest of Vienna, Austria’s capital. The Wienerwald was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 2005 by UNESCO. This status protects the great variety of natural and cultural elements that make this region so unique and valuable. The Wienerwald BR covers an area of 105,645 hectares and extends across 51 communities in Lower Austria and seven municipal districts in Vienna.

The uniqueness of this region is characterised by the diversity of nature, culture and sustainable management on the margins of the city of Vienna –Europe’s only biosphere reserve, part of which is in a metropolis with more than two million inhabitants.

The Wienerwald has a number of dedicated MTB trail areas and Austria’s first and only urban MTB trail centre, located at a former, low-lying ski resort that due to  climate change has been transformed into a MTB facility. MTB area Anninger is one of the trail areas in located in close proximity of the main venue of the event.