EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK News

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Increased participation leads to new EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK record

12 October 2018

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has hit a new participation record, with almost 2,800 towns and cities from 54 countries taking part in 2018. A full list of participants can be viewed online.

This impressive figure marks the third record-breaking year in a row for the campaign. The geographic reach of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has also expanded, with towns and cities from 54 countries participating, including several from outside of Europe.

Car-free day, in which towns and cities close one or more streets to traffic, was carried out by 1,145 participants, while 1,276 towns and cities declared that they had implemented at least one permanent measure. Overall, 8,839 permanent measures were implemented by participating cities in 2018.

Car-free day often leads to a marked increase in air quality in the area in which it is implemented and is the perfect opportunity for local authorities to measure the impact of motorized vehicles on the air we breathe. A recent study on Brussels’ car-free day found that black carbon decreased by 80 percent during the period in which cars were off the roads.

Media coverage of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK was extensive, with over 8,000 news items produced about the campaign, reaching more than 200 million people.

Towns and cities that carried out all three of the participation criteria (carry out a week of activities celebrating clean forms of mobility, implement at least one permanent measure that encourages sustainable transport, and hold a car-free day) are eligible to apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards. 

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards are given out in two categories: one for municipalities larger than 50,000 inhabitants, and one for smaller municipalities under this threshold. The deadline for applying is 23 October 2018.

Moldova makes EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK debut

8 October 2018

This year has been another hugely successful one for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign. Record participation has been seen in a slew of countries, others have seen registrations reach levels not seen for a long, long time. There have also been a host of new countries involved for the first time, among them the little state of Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine.

A call, issued by the country’s State Ecological Inspectorate, a body subordinate to the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, in September, served as the source of inspiration for its local inspectorates, galvanising Moldovan towns and cities into action. It’s not an uncommon practice to see such missives being sent, Russia, Turkey and others doing the same in 2018.

Its principal goal was to encourage communities to capitalize on the week as a means to address "the alarming situation created by the intense pollution of air in urban centers through car use.” Although the central theme of this year’s ‘Week’ was #MixAndMove in line with the European Commission’s ‘year of multi-modality,’ Moldova rallied its towns to respect the mantra: “Clean Air for All.”

Campaign activities were subsequently reported on the inspectorate’s message board in eight principal locations. For example, in Ungheni, at the border with Romania, a cycle race entitled "Give up the car, take the bicycle!" took place, while in nearby Călăraşi, ecological classes were hosted by a brace of educational institutions while working groups discussed local air protection measures. In Lipoveni, south of the capital, Chisinau, as in Criuleni to the east, besides cycling contests, locals were encouraged to become ‘the fastest athlete,’ and to sign up for a drawing competition. Participants were then rewarded with diplomas and gifts. Somewhat unusually named Edinet, to the north, hosted its Car-Free Day on 22 September, with the central square witnessing celebrations dedicated to the promotion of environmental protection that brought together a series of fun events including "The best skateboard sportsman." And in a unique move, only seen otherwise in Germany, the city linked up with neighbouring Chernivtsi in Ukraine, which served as the final stop in a cycle tour that included a visit to Briceni on September 17. There, hundreds of citizens turned out to spur on cyclists demonstrating a healthy lifestyle that also contributes to environmental protection. Their passage was well received by locals, who came up with questions and suggestions, while some even got on the bike and joined in.

Local media was quick to pick up on similar events in Soroca, where Observatorul de Nord published an article on the importance of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK actions on "Motorized Traffic: Problems and Alternatives." In Lipoveni, Gazeta de Sud and ProMedia too reported on local events. In the southern town of Gagauzia, local TV and radio station interviews also garnered prime time space.

It may be regarded as slightly disappointing that Moldova’s larger cities did not get involved. However, according to Ina Coseru, who heads up Moldova’s National Environmental Center, “in our small country with its limited resources, cooperation is key. For example, we are emboldened by the fact that the road-safety focused Automobile Club Moldova is keen to lend its support to the campaign. We also must link up with the GEF-financed Green Cities project that launched this year and includes a greener transport component for Chisinau. It will continue next year, so we definitely need to involve all the relevant authorities at local level and ask the project to support their initiatives.”

Fortunately, the state inspectorate will invite all participants to report back and the European Secretariat looks forward to hearing of further activities, hopefully in Moldova’s larger cities too.

Beyond Moldova, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK ‘debuts’ were also seen from Georgia to Peru, and from Mongolia to South Africa. All in all, some 54 countries got involved, which just goes to show the campaign’s reach in its seventeenth year. Roll on 2019!

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2018: Mixing transport modes to improve quality of life

17 September 2018

Yesterday the European Commission launched for the 17th time EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, its flagship campaign that runs from 16–22 September annually with the aim to improve quality of life by promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport. Over 2,400 towns and cities from 50 countries will hold events to mark this year’s celebration, giving people the opportunity to explore the role of mobility in their daily lives and to experiment with clean transport modes. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK culminates in the trademark car-free day.

EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has declared 2018 the ‘Year of Multimodality’, which has defined the theme of this year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK:  “Mix and Move!”. It encourages people to see how their daily travel needs can be met more efficiently, more cost-effectively, and more enjoyably by mixing transport modes.

Commissioner Bulc said: “With this year's edition of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, we want to encourage everyone to consider different mobility options and select the most appropriate ones for each trip. By mixing the ways we move, we can save time, improve our health, and lower our transport costs. This week is also an opportunity for cities to accelerate this social shift by making sure the right services and infrastructure are in place.”

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: “Mixing and moving means supporting a transition to a more human transport system. It means promoting cleaner, more fuel-efficient modes, and more human-powered travel. It’s a great way of keeping the focus at the local level and helping European towns and cities to improve the environmental performance of their transport system. It means cleaner air, quieter cities, and healthier citizens – what’s not to like?”

Local authorities that make significant efforts to promote sustainable urban mobility during the campaign can apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards until 23 October 2018. Local authorities can also apply by 1 October 2018 for the SUMP Award, which recognises local and regional authorities for excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning.

On 19 September the 2018 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK will also include the third edition of the European day without a road death, which aims at raising awareness on road safety.

For more information, click here.

CIVITAS Forum 2018 invites participants to experience Europe's inclusive and multimodal mobility future

24 August 2018

The importance of transport’s social dimension is becoming increasingly clear - mobility shapes lives and prospects. It is crucial that transport systems are environmentally friendly, inclusive, efficient, and centred on meeting diverse user needs. Yet how can this be accomplished?

Under the banner of "Mobility for U and Me", this year's CIVITAS Forum Conference will gather hundreds of policymakers, city representatives, academics, and practitioners in Umeå (Sweden) from 19-21 September to debate this critical question.

Over these three days, they will also witness the pioneering sustainable urban mobility measures moving Europe towards an inclusive and multimodal mobility future. With 2018 declared the "Year of Multimodality" by Violeta Bulc, the European Commissioner  for Mobility and Transport, the Forum comes at the perfect time.

High-profile speakers at the event include Lena Erixon, Director of the Swedish Transport Administration; Maja Bakran Marcich, Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE), European Commission; and Stina Nilimaa Wickström, Vice President of Product Design, Volvo Group.

Exciting and insightful sessions hosted by selected experts will delve into the most urgent mobility topics, including multimodality, Mobility as a Service, co-creation, e-mobility, and smart mobility solutions.

Programme highlights include:

Take-up and transfer sessions

A new feature this year, these enable participants to get hands-on with and see cutting-edge urban mobility tools and methods in action. Engaging formats such as walkshops and study tours await.

Site visits

Umeå is one of Scandinavia's leading exponents of sustainable urban development and mobility. A series of site visits will reveal why, including tours of the city's smart university district and gender-sensitive infrastructure.

CIVITAS Awards

The CIVITAS Awards showcase Europe’s most forward-thinking sustainable urban mobility policy and measures. These will be given out on the Forum's second evening in a ceremony at Umeå's cultural hub, the Folkets Hus.

Registration and programme

Attendance is free of charge.

To explore the latest draft programme and to register, click here.

Vienna, Igoumenitsa and Turda celebrated in new EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK videos

18 July 2018

Three new videos have been launched showcasing the sustainable mobility activities of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award winners for 2017. The videos were filmed on location in Vienna (Austria), Igoumenitsa (Greece), and Turda (Romania), and feature interviews with key mobility experts within the municipalities.

Each video showcases how the award-winning city is working to make sustainable transport the number one choice for citizens. The Austrian capital’s popular bicycle-sharing system – which now includes cargo-bikes – is highlighted, as is the expansion of the Viennese metro system, as well as the city’s efforts to increase the number of journeys made by foot.

In Igoumenitsa, the municipality is working to change the mobility culture, promoting cleaner and healthier ways of getting around. To reduce the use of private vehicles, the Greek city is implementing measures to improve public transportation.

The drafting of Turda’s Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan forms the focus of its video, particularly efforts to save residents time and hassle in getting from A to B.

Through these videos, viewers are granted a look at the innovative activities and measures that led these cities to success at the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards ceremony in Brussels.

To view the video on Vienna, click here.

To view the video on Igoumenitsa, click here.

To view the video on Turda, click here.

Turkish kick-off event sets high aims for EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2018

16 July 2018

On 10 July, a kick-off event for the planning of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK was held in Ankara, Turkey. The event was organised by the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, who are responsible for the national coordination of the campaign in Turkey. Jerome Simpson (EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK European Secretariat) joined around 100 enthusastic participants in discussing how the upcoming campaign will take shape across the country this year from 16-22 September. Among the participants were representatives from nearly 70 towns and cities.

The Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, Christian Berger, mentioned that previous years had seen around 7 municipalities participate in the campaign, and that hopes were high to top this number in 2018. He added, "Our municipalities are of course the first to get involved in finding a solution whenever we face a problem in today's cities. And we mark Mobility Week in Turkey in the third week of September each year. Our main theme has to do with getting more people to use public transport. But what needs to be emphasized here is the diversification of modes of mass public transport. Our efforts on this theme are ongoing."

Göktug Kara, Transport Sector Head of Unit at the Delegation of the European Union said “We hope to get a record participation this September and with almost 1400 municipalities being members of the Union of Municipalities of Turkey, there is no reason why we can’t rank alongside Austria’s five hundred plus annual registrations!”

For a list of current reigstered cities in Turkey, click here.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK Award winner Igoumenitsa shares advice

27 April 2018

Interview with the the City of Igoumenitsa (Greece), winner of the inaugural EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 for smaller municipalities.

Q. What activities did your city undertake to help it win the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award? Were there any activities that you are particularly proud of?

Our activities were designed to include all social groups, particularly young people willing to change their modes of movement. Information kiosks, school seminars and various competitions were organised on the topic of "Cycling and walking in the city: benefits for me and for us all!" Walking and cycling were promoted as a form of a cooperative mobility within the wider urban system.

In collaboration with the city's stakeholders, several events took place in public spaces to show how the city centre could be without cars. Citizens were invited to try out alternative modes of urban transport, free of charge. We are proud to have held activities for all social groups, particularly the elderly and disabled people.

Q. What has the reaction been among citizens and stakeholders to the city winning the award? What does winning the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award mean to the city?

The response of both citizens and stakeholders was very positive - in some cases extremely enthusiastic! Smaller municipalities, like Igoumenitsa, have acquired all the problems and habits of big cities. The award will give them the opportunity to realise the issues and start working towards sustainable mobility, helping to define and organise efficient and less polluting mobility system for both goods and passengers.

Q. What are the benefits of taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK for your city?

In the context of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, information was collected about residents' needs and wishes in terms of improving their modes of mobility. In collaboration with other cities and stakeholders, we promoted actions that helped us to create a vision in terms of development and sustainability that would improve the city's infrastructure, the existing urban and peri-urban green areas, and protect the environment in general. 

Q. What advice would you give to cities that are looking to take home the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award?

The key steps are to ensure the participation of diverse target groups, gain the participation of local stakeholders, take advice from other cities who have many years of experience (in our case Trikala and Xanthi), promote events through social media, and hold special events for elderly and disabled people. Practically, it is also necessary to record and submit details of all of the activities that took place during the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

 

An interview with the City of Vienna - EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK award winner

22 April 2018

Interview with the City of Vienna (Austria), winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 for larger municipalities.

Q. What activities did your city undertake to help it win the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award? Were there any activities that you are particularly proud of?

VIENNA: I suppose the jury is best placed to answer this first question! We are especially proud that we were able to motivate many partners in Vienna to join EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. Together we provided a programme with more than 50 activities and events throughout the city.

A highlight during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK each year is the “Streetlife Festival”, Vienna’s car-free event. It combines fun and sustainable mobility-issues in a remarkable way – which is highly appreciated by the audience. More than 20,000 people visit every year.

Q. What has the reaction been among citizens and stakeholders to the city winning the award? What does winning the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award mean to the city?

VIENNA: The acknowledgment of Vienna’s work for sustainable mobility at the international level is a great honour for us. The City of Vienna has set itself the goal of increasing the share of journeys made by its residents on foot or by bike. This award encourages us to continue our efforts to achieve this goal. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK shows, in a remarkable way, that European Cities are united to reach climate targets. We are proud to be among these cities.

Reactions among citizens and stakeholders were positive. The team working to realise EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK received many compliments.

Q. What are the benefits of taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK for your city?

VIENNA: The City of Vienna has set itself the goal of increasing the share of journeys made by its residents on foot or by bike. During EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK we take the chance to stress the efforts Vienna has put into place to achieve this goal: at events, through communications campaigns, and so on.

Q. What advice would you give to cities that are looking to take home the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award?

VIENNA: The path is the aim! It is important to motivate people to ride their bicycles, walk or take public transport, increase sustainable mobility and decrease pollution - winning the award is just the icing on the cake!

Vienna, Igoumenitsa and Turda take home European sustainable mobility awards

21 March 2018

The European Commission today announced the winners of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 and 6th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) at a ceremony in Brussels (Belgium).

Vienna was named the winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 for larger municipalities, with Igoumenitsa revealed as the inaugural winner of the newly added category for smaller municipalities. The 6th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) was presented to Turda (Romania).

The awards were presented to the cities by Commissioner Violeta Bulc, responsible for Transport, and Daniel Calleja, Director-General for Environment.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “My congratulations to each of the award winners. Through their actions, these cities are not only creating a more sustainable Europe, but are helping their residents to move around in a cleaner, healthier and more enjoyable way. It is my hope that by selecting these cities, their actions will inspire others to embrace the core message of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK – sustainable mobility is the right choice for everyone.”

Vienna, home to around 1.8 million people, impressed the jury with its outstanding programme of activities during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, which reflected a firm understanding of the theme of the 2017 campaign - Clean, shared, and intelligent mobility. Among other activities, residents of Vienna were able to rent cargo bikes free of charge, take guided walks through different city neighbourhoods, and join an urban picnic on a street previously reserved for vehicles.

The city of Igoumenitsa took home the honour for its exemplary work in communicating the benefits of sustainable mobility to residents, including those who live in nearby small towns. Residents could avail of free transfer by bus at selected times, take part in cycling events held along the city's coastal front, and join a cultural hike through the forest.

The Romania city of Turda was presented with the 6th SUMP Award for its clear planning vision, robust financing strategy, and measurable targets. The jury noted the replicability of the strategy and its potential to inspire other similarly-sized cities.

Vienna, Igoumenitsa and Turda were selected by an independent panel of mobility and transport experts and will each receive a promotional video highlighting their achievements.

For more information, read the press release.

European Commission announces sustainable mobility award nominees

27 February 2018

The European Commission today revealed the finalists of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award and the Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP). The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award showcases local authorities that demonstrate significant efforts in promoting sustainable urban mobility, while the SUMP Award recognises outstanding sustainable urban mobility planning.

The finalists for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 are: Granada (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic), and Vienna (Austria).

Granada impressed the judges with its Car-Free Day celebrations, coupled with a widespread communication campaign that incorporated advertisements on public transport. Prague excelled in creating mutually beneficial partnerships with NGOs and local businesses during the week, while Vienna carried out a diverse programme of activities that closely reflected the 2017 theme – ‘Clean, shared and intelligent mobility’.

For the first time, a category for towns and cities with under 50,000 inhabitants has been included as part of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award, recognising the sustainable mobility achievements of smaller cities in Europe. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2017 finalists for municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants are: Igoumenitsa (Greece), Lindau (Germany), and Tivat (Montenegro).

Igoumenitsa scored well thanks to its strong efforts to communicate the benefits of sustainable mobility to residents and also those who live in nearby towns. Lindau implemented impressive permanent measures, including repurposing parking spaces, while the judges praised Tivat for its citizen engagement activities.

This edition of the SUMP award focused on shared mobility in the planning process.

The 6th SUMP Award finalists are: Greater Manchester (United Kingdom), Milan (Italy), and Turda (Romania).

Greater Manchester was lauded for its progressive vision, high ambition and exemplary cooperation with the private and non-profit sectors. Milan was praised for stakeholder involvement when designing its SUMP and for its work to introduce a Mobility as a Service platform that brings together apps across transport modes to facilitate shared mobility. Turda was commended by the jury for its clear and inspiring planning vision, including a well-structured financing strategy.

All shortlisted cities were selected by an independent panel of mobility and transport experts.The three winners will be announced at a ceremony in Brussels (Belgium) on 21 March 2018. Commissioner Violeta Bulc, responsible for Transport, and Daniel Calleja, Director-General for Environment, will present the awards to the winning towns and cities.

For more information, click here.