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An interview with Luxembourg National Coordinator David Everard

11 December 2017

David Everard has been the National Coordinator for Luxembourg since 2012, and is a communications and marketing expert with Verkéiersverbond, Luxembourg’s public transport association.

1. What do you think Luxembourgian cities and towns gain from taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK?

Every year, our municipalities notice a growing interest in the messages conveyed by the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. We live in a time of an interesting paradigm change, shifting away from fossil fuels to another kind of mobility - Mobility Week ideally represents these new values. Being part of the week and being able to show a history of participation gives municipalities the “Sustainability street-credibility” that nowadays is of political value.

2. Luxembourg is in a somewhat unique position given the number of people that commute into the country every day. What are the main challenges that you face in organising EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK?

Luxembourg welcomes 170,000 cross border commuters every working day. This puts an enormous pressure on our infrastructure and brings our public transport system to the brink of collapse. Many municipalities only experience mobility problems during rush hour, as the majority of French, Germans and Belgians commute either to Luxembourg City or to Esch-Alzette. So the mobility problems of the other municipalities result from traffic passing through. We often struggle with themes that aim at addressing urban mobility problems because these do not echo the needs of our villages. The theme of “multimodality” is interesting though, since Luxembourg is investing €3.8 billion to go into that direction, notably through: the construction of a number of urban/regional transport interchanges, huge investments in our rail infrastructure, the construction of a tram in Luxembourg City, big investments in cycling infrastructure, and the reorganisation of the regional bus network.

3. What's the best way you've found to encourage cities to engage in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK? What advice would you give to new National Coordinators?

As National Coordinator, my team and I organised a conference to which we invited all of the municipalities. This was a chance to show them what the Mobility Week is about and how it works. We then asked them via official letter to designate a local coordinator, as well as a backup for the local coordinator. We also set up an online project management tool called Basecamp. After each meeting I attend at the EU level, I relay the information I receive to the local coordinators via Basecamp, keeping them in the loop. We also produce gadgets (pens, sweets, handwarmers, etc.) that we offer to the municipalities that register their participation on the official website. They then distribute these promotional items at their Mobility Week events. This is a nice incentive to get them to register!

These were the most effective actions we took that I would recommend to every new National Coordinator. And of course to have loads of fun with this fantastic project!