EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK News

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EU Award for "The Better World" Communication goes to mobilityweek.eu

17 November 2016

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website was awarded the eu.Web Award 2016 in the "Better World" category at a prestigious ceremony at the Natural History Museum in Brussels (Belgium) last night. The category is reserved for the best websites on the topics of environmental protection and sustainable development.

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website was completely overhauled this year with the aim of producing a more user-friendly, attractive web presence, one capable of meeting the needs of a growing project.

"One of the primary challenges we faced in the design phase was displaying the various elements of the project in a way that does not overwhelm the user. We discussed internally and decided to open a beta version to the public, inviting feedback. By listening to our users, we were given valuable insights that allowed us to further refine our website," said Gabriel Nock, chief web developer.

Previous winners have benefited from the prize, mainly through increased web traffic. The competition was implemented by EURid, the registry manager for the .eu country code domains on behalf of the European Commission.

For more information on the awards, visit webawards.eurid.eu

Interview: Spanish National Coordination

Txema Baez, Novadays, and Soledad Perlado, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Affairs

4 November 2016

1. Spain consistently ranks among the nations with the most cities participating in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. What has driven this success?

As far as we are concerned, the success in participation lays in the coordination and awareness-raising work that has been carried-out since 2000 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. Since 2001, it has been mandatory in Spain for municipalities to install permanent measures to register their participation in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, thereby making the initiative more long lasting and ensuring that municipalities continue to benefit year after year. Over 2000 permanent measures were developed in Spain each year over the last 10 years.

Permanent measures involve political and budgetary oversight so the municipal plenary meetings are the ones to control EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK participation, which gives greater visibility among all political groups and to the citizens themselves.

It is fair to add the work of the Spanish Coordination to the reasons for success, which conducts annual reports recording all measures and activities conducted in the municipalities.

2. Why do you think EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is so popular in the country?

A part of its popularity comes from the fact that it is a topic that has entered public debate, not only in municipalities, but in society in general. The Spanish Coordination has enhanced the participation of organisations, institutions, companies and other sections of society to perform actions on sustainable mobility, taking their share of responsibility in choosing their mode of mobility.

Being a European initiative promoted by the European Commission and coordinated by the Ministry, municipalities feel part of a wider European celebration, gaining visibility within a common project, and learning about mobility actions in other European cities.

It is also to be pointed out that Spain is a country where most of its cities and towns have old quarters, and recovering them through actions such as pedestrianising streets, traffic restrictions, speed restrictions, and so on, represent a great advantage. These advantages are appreciated by the public immediately since they contribute to the improvement of quality of life.

San Sebastián, Santiago de Compostela, Valladolid, Gijón, León, and Vitoria, for example, have all been participants in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK from the beginning and have strategically embraced sustainable mobility. It has also spread to other cities - a good example is Murcia, the city that won the 2015 Spanish and EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK awards.

3. What are the main challenges that you face in encouraging cities to take part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Spain?

The main challenge is to involve more cities in a progressive way, but also and fundamentally, civil society and the media. The aim is to make citizens responsible for their behaviour when it comes to choosing a means of transport. That is the reason why in the Spanish Awards, presented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment, there are additional categories for the media and for companies and social organisations that encourage the use of sustainable mobility in their field.

Awareness-raising remains the main challenge since it involves the promotion of changing patterns of mobility that depend on the individual decisions of each citizen, which demands a pedagogical and sensitive approach.

4. What is the future of sustainable mobility in Spain?


Sustainable mobility is a cross-cutting element in each municipality’s politics that touches upon different areas, such as urban development, traffic, environment, health, and so on. The trend should be to develop integrated and horizontal policies that improve quality of life in the city, especially through education, awareness, innovation and urban planning, with the preparation of mobility studies related to new urban developments.

It will also be necessary to expand the level of participation and involve new actors that visualise and replicate sustainable mobility policies. We believe that the future will require the increased exchange of experiences between Spanish and European cities. This could be facilitated through a database managed by the European Commission.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK website among finalists for .eu Web Awards

12 October 2016

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website has been nominated for the prestigious .eu Web Awards in the category "Better World". The Awards recognise the most impressive websites with the .eu domain in terms of both design and content. The Better World category focuses on websites that promote green initiatives and environmental protection.

www.mobilityweek.eu will compete against two other finalists for the prize, which includes a trophy and certificate, a promotional video, and a web award icon for the winner’s website and social media channels. Previous winners have benefitted from increased visibility and website traffic as a result of the award.

A jury comprised of communication experts will select the final winner. The award ceremony will be held at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels (Belgium) on 16 November 2016. The awards are run by EURid, the registry manager of the .eu country code domains upon appointment of the European Commission.

For more information, visit webawards.eurid.eu.

Transport peer-to-peer exchange programme now open

11 October 2016

The CIVITAS2020 initiative on cleaner and better transport in cities launched its new peer-to-peer exchange programme at the CIVITAS Forum in Gdynia (Poland), which took place from 28-30 September 2016. The programme consists of study visits and work placements on innovative transport measures, and is open to practitioners and city representatives who are interested in learning from, and sharing their knowledge and experience with, peers in other European cities.

Work placements offer transport professionals a hands-on, three day learning opportunity in another European city focused on a topic area which responds to their local needs. Study visits offer the opportunity for a group of up to 10 city representatives to travel to another European city facing similar challenges in sustainable urban mobility to learn about possible solutions and best practices.

Financial bursaries are available to cover travel and accommodation. Exact dates of the visits will be decided in cooperation with the host and the visiting cities. Those interested in being either a host or visiting city should fill in the application form available online by 7 November.

For more information, visit the CIVITAS website.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK celebrates most successful campaign yet

28 September 2016

2016 has seen the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign shatter its previous participation record, with an astounding 2424 cities from 51 countries celebrating the week. The previous record was set in 2011 when 2264 cities from 43 countries participated.

Cities and towns around the world held activities under this year’s theme of 'Smart and sustainable mobility - an investment for Europe', referring to the close ties between transport and economics. Many cities held a "Car Free Day", in which areas of the city were closed off to motorised vehicles and opened to citizens, while others held activities that showcased the benefits of opting for sustainable modes of travel. A sizeable portion of those participating also enacted permanent measures that encourage a shift to low-carbon forms of mobility.

Cities that carried out all three of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK criteria are eligible to apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award. Winners of the award receive a three-minute video in both English and their native language highlighting their achievements. The call for applications for the fifth edition of the SUMP Award is also open. This year's award will recognise the local or regional government that has done most to integrate urban freight with their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, or SUMP.

For more information, visit the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2016: Sustainable transport is an investment for Europe

16 September 2016

The European Commission today launches the 15th annual EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, with activities taking place across Europe from 16 to 22 September. The theme of this year is 'Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe’.

The main aim is to promote awareness of the economic benefits of investing in safe, clean transport for people and companies. Making energy and transport more affordable and sustainable is also one of the priorities of the Juncker Commission. Action in cities is particularly important as urban transport is responsible for 23 percent of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.

As in previous years, local authorities and individuals across the continent are encouraged to think about what they can do locally, to make an impact globally.

Speaking at the launch of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2016, Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport said: "This week is about getting individuals and local authorities big and small - on board. We are moving towards smart mobility, by integrating technology into transport. Smart mobility can reduce traffic jams in European cities and help cut the €100 billion congestion price-tag, making our cities more liveable!"

Getting out of the car and walking, cycling or taking the bus can have benefits such as improving our health. But research shows that smarter mobility can also make the public finances healthier. The Commission estimates* that road congestion costs 1 percent of the EU’s GDP per year – that's €100 billion euro last year, this year and every year. Smarter mobility can reduce traffic jams in European cities and help cut that 100 billion euro congestion price-tag.

The culmination of the week is the Car-Free Day, during which designated areas of towns and cities are closed to car traffic and open only for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is a highlight in a year-round drive for more sustainable mobility. The campaign serves to encourage and inspire those involved, to think about more long-term, permanent changes that could be made to improve transport.

For example, since April 2016 the University of Aveiro, Portugal has been recording large amounts of data on transport habits to help policy makers’ work towards a low carbon economy; in the Spanish city of Albacete a group of people have created a company called Urbanciclo to transport goods by cargo-bike; in the Italian town of Casalmaggiore, the NGO Slow Town presented in May 2016 a 2km children’s ring road along the bank of the river Po, creating a safe route closed to road traffic to get to school, the library, the gym and downtown; campaigners from Spain, Sweden and the UK joined forces to ride 2000km from Stockholm to Brussels last summer to advocate for safer cycling; between March and October 2016 Natuur & Milieu organised the ‘car sharing award for Dutch municipalities’ to stimulate the use of this transport method in the Netherlands.

These are but a few examples. All of the registered MOBILITYACTIONS are displayed on the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website.

Call for applications for 5th SUMP Award opens

5 September 2016

The call for applications to the fifth edition of the SUMP Award is now open. This year's award will recognise the local or regional government that has done most to integrate urban freight with their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, or SUMP.

The focus on urban freight ties into this year's EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK theme of how smart and sustainable mobility can support a stronger economy. Urban freight is a challenging topic for urban and transport planners, as businesses in urban centres need reliable access to goods delivery. However, the presence of delivery vehicles often worsens problems such as traffic congestion and pollution.

Urban freight can be made more sustainable in a number of ways. Consolidating freight in a logistics centre and using a smaller number of vehicles to deliver to more addresses is one example. Using vehicles powered by hybrid or electric engines is also a good way to cut emissions from delivery fleets. Even zero-emissions vehicles such as cargo bikes have been shown to be reliable for the last step in delivery for most goods.

The SUMP Award is presented together with the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award, and honours local authorities that have developed a Mobility Plan that satisfies the diverse transport needs of people and businesses, whilst improving quality of life. Each year, the award highlights a different aspect of mobility planning. Past editions of the award have focused on successful territorial and policy integration, monitoring implementation, and providing for multimodality and intermodality.

For more information about this year's edition of the award and how to apply, click here.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK Best Practice Guide 2016 released

31 August 2016

The 2016 edition of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Best Practice Guide features the outstanding achievements of the ten shortlisted cities for the 2015 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award.

Murcia (Spain), the eventual winner of the Award, installed bike racks and allowed foldable bicycles on buses, and also placed a strong emphasis on developing electric mobility in the city in the form of electric bicycles and scooters. The other two finalists, Lisbon (Portugal) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain), also showed great initiative. Lisbon organised two separate Car-Free Day events in different locations, and implemented new infrastructure to increase accessibility and cycling. Palma de Mallorca implemented new cycling infrastructure and parking facilities, surveyed residents on their mobility practices and offered free public transport tickets.

The other seven shortlisted cities are also featured in the guide, and details of their excellent activities are given. They include Bacau (Romania), Larnaka (Cyprus), Miskolc (Hungary), Nottingham (United Kingdom), Sofia (Bulgaria), Trikala (Greece), and Vienna (Austria). A number of inspiring MOBILITYACTIONs are also included from countries such as Croatia, Monaco, Portugal and Sweden.

For the first time good examples of activities from small municipalities in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Serbia are profiled, as well as best practice by the National Coordination teams in a number of countries. The guide also features activities from the South Korean cities of Busan, Seoul, and Wonju, the first time that activities outside of Europe have been profiled. Campaigners can consult the guide to take inspiration from others and ensure that they have exciting and innovative EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK celebrations in their own cities and communities.

To download and read the Best Practice Guide, visit the Campaign Materials page.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK reach extends to more countries in 2016

20 July 2016

As the summer break begins, here is an update on some of the recent EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK changes and developments across the region.

Since the start of 2016 Belarus, Ireland, Moldova, Montenegro and the Netherlands have all appointed new coordinators while in Denmark the campaign has a ‘national reference point’ for the first time, represented by Camilla Rosenhagen at Local Government Denmark. There have also been changes in national coordinators in Austria, Estonia, Hungary and Poland.

The campaign is especially happy to welcome UNDP's support as national coordinators in Belarus and Montenegro and to congratulate UNDP Russia on the success it has already seen in 2016, with 44 cities registering. Dmitry Beschetny explains: "I believe this result has been achieved mostly due to successful promotion of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Russia by the Ministry of Transport. To make the event more attractive, the Ministry provides an award for participating cities." Other national coordinators have also been working to make the campaign visible in their countries. Germany has launched a EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK webpage as well as a Facebook page, while the development of a webpage for Bosnia-Herzegovina is underway.

Registration is also now available in almost all official EU languages and in a number of languages from non-EU countries. New additions include Belarusian, Croatian, Danish, Montenegrin, Norwegian, Polish, Slovenian. There is also a registration option for Bosnia-Herzegovina. Of the official EU languages, the only registration languages that are not currently offered are Gaelic and Maltese. Moreover, cities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan can opt to register in commonly-used languages in those countries, such as English, German, Russian, or Turkish.

Registration ahead of the week in September is surging forward and it is exciting to see over 400 towns and cities from 26 countries having signed up, including over 100 communities in Spain. Especially noteworthy is the fact that Ireland has already doubled last year’s participation, while the Netherlands too has eclipsed its 2015 performance. In a typical year around 2000 towns and cities participate from around 45 countries.

To register your Car-Free Day, permanent measure and campaign activities, click here

Project EDWARD calls on road users to improve road safety

11 July 2016

A new campaign supported by the European Commission aims to make progress on reducing deaths and injuries on the road, after statistics show two successive years with little improvement.

The campaign, European Day Without A Road Death (EDWARD), asks all in Europe from individuals to national governments, charities, and private organisations to make a pledge, to organise awareness-raising activities and register them to make Europe's roads free of road deaths on Wednesday 21 September, which takes place during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. The campaign is led by the European Traffic Police Network, or TISPOL and supported by the European Commission.

TISPOL says that driver behaviour remains the biggest barrier to progress on the EU's target of a 50 percent reduction in road deaths and injuries by 2020 compared to 2010 figures. Drivers can help improve safety on the road by ensuring they are not distracted while driving, keeping their vehicles in good condition, and respecting infrastructure designed for other road users.

However, cyclists and pedestrians also make unsafe decisions, such as by ignoring the rules of the road or taking risky shortcuts. Organisers hope that in the lead up to EDWARD on 21 September, all road users take some time to think about the risks they face and the risks they may pose to others, and what they can do to reduce these dangers.

For more information and to make a pledge or to register an event, visit roadsafetydays.eu and tispol.org