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 pledge and to organise awareness-raising activities 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.
Luxembourg cities begin preparations for EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2016
15 June 2016
A kick-off event for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Luxembourg attracted delegates from more than 40 municipalities on 13 May.
The event was organised by Verkéiersverbond, the National Coordinator for the campaign in Luxembourg. The importance of the campaign was highlighted in presentations from François Bausch, Luxembourg's Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure; Camille Gira, State Secretary for the same ministry; Madeleine Kelly-Tychtl representing the European Commission's DG MOVE; Peter Staelens from EUROCITIES; and Luxembourg National Coordinator David Everard, from Luxembourg's transport community Verkéiersverbond. The event attracted 112 delegates who came to get information on and debate how to organise a good or a better EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in 2016.
Mr Staelens and Mr Everard presented international best practice examples that could be implemented by small and medium-sized municipalities, such as a street-painting campaign from Austria or rewarding cyclists with vouchers and small gifts from Norway. As well as municipalities, delegates from groups such as Luxembourg's national cycling lobby and organisations working with and for people with disabilities attended. The event aimed to identify local coordinators and have them appointed by the municipalities.
Almost half of the Luxembourg's 106 municipalities were represented at the conference, who wanted to know how the campaign could help with the mobility problems they face. As jobs are mainly concentrated in Luxembourg City, the country’s capital, this means commuters living in other parts of the country and in neighbouring Belgium, France and Germany travel by car, resulting in daily traffic congestion. Public transport in the country also suffers from overcrowding. This means that the urban mobility problems in Luxembourg are of a different character to those in other countries, especially as the average population of Luxembourg municipalities is quite small, between two and five thousand inhabitants.
To view photos from the event click here. For more information about the event, visit mobiliteit.lu (in French).
Photo: Verkéiersverbond Lëtzebuerg
EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK receives renewed commitment in Poland and Moldova
3 June 2016
Cooperation is a key to success. That has been the consistent theme during visits by the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK outreach coordinator, Jerome Simpson, in Warsaw (Poland) and Chisinau (Moldova).
In both countries, the environment and transport ministries have realised that a truly successful campaign depends on their collaboration. All concerned made their intention clear to establish inter-ministerial working groups that would seek to involve NGOs and international organisations besides municipal associations and the private sector.
Fortunately, neither country is a stranger to EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, and both aim to involve a large number of cities in the campaign in 2016. Adrian Mazur of Poland’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction looks forward to increasing the number of town, city and community registrations in 2016 than in the previous year. In Moldova, Viorica Staver, at the country's Ministry of Environment, stated that she would convey the responsibilities of a national coordinator to her respective minister, recognising that a formal appointment will boost Moldovan participation.
The week’s outreach also highlighted the importance of allying more closely with those campaigning on matters of road safety and equitable access. Chisinau's streets currently cater to cars moreso than cyclists and pedestrians, while those with impaired mobility face even greater challenges.
The first European Day Without A Road Death (EDWARD) on September 21 2016 will be a welcome boost to the campaign. It is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Traffic Police Network (TISPOL). Transport ministries in various countries are showing increased interest in this topic, while Moldovan NGOs were eager to register their activities under the campaign's MOBILITYACTIONS series saw NGOs eager to register their activities. There is much to look forward to in these countries as this year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK gets underway.
E-MOBILITY WORKS final conference to look at the future of electric transport
30 May 2016
After almost three years of working with municipalities and SMEs to develop electric mobility action plans, the EU-funded E-MOBILITY WORKS project will hold its final conference in Brussels (Belgium) on 14 June 2016.
The conference will draw conclusions from the work of the project, outline the e-mobility policies of the EU, and discuss the future of e-mobility in cities. Municipalities from Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Romania, Estonia, Finland and Greece took part in the project.
The conference is held as part of the EU’s Sustainable Energy Week and is free of charge. Speakers at the event include Jose Fernandez Garcia, Innovative and Sustainable Mobility Directorate, and Helmut Morsi, Principal Advisor to the Director-General, both of the European Commission’s DG MOVE; and Thelka Heinel, Head of Department, B.&S.U. mbH, Berlin.
The project helped municipalities to construct and deliver plans to enhance the uptake of e-mobility in cities. Through the project local leaders were empowered to improve urban air quality, and had the chance to build partnerships with business stakeholders such as energy supply companies, car-sharing providers, and charging station providers. Registration for the conference can be completed online.
The campaign formally got underway on 27 April when the local UNDP office hosted mobility campaigners and experts from the capital, Minsk, nationwide and internationally to hear suggestions on how to implement a successful campaign. This included the idea of a mobility forum with local governments, a number of whom who had already been introduced to EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK the day before at a seminar hosted by the Belarus Transport Union. UNDP agreed to take these proposals forward.
Minsk offers much potential in terms of sustainable urban mobility. Wide streets could accommodate bike lanes, dedicated trolley bus or carpool lanes, and it offers pedestrians wide sidewalks, many of which include bike paths already. However, many residents are committed car owners and reducing speeds on Minsk's roads does not seem to be a local priority. Nevertheless progress is being made as a third metro line in Minsk is now under construction. Local campaigners were also very interested in the potential of cargo bikes.
The country is no stranger to EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, with Minsk, Polotsk and Novopolotsk registering in 2015. Anton Rodnenkov of Interakcia Foundation said of Polotsk’s 2016 campaign: "More effort is needed in advertising eye-catching events, especially to pedestrians and drivers but also to businesses. We also need to do more to reach out to citizens online.” A video of 2015 campaign events in Polotsk has also been produced.
It sounds like civil society in Belarus knows what needs to be done. At the same time it expressed its gratitude for the kick-off event and thanks to UNDP for its acting as a bridge between themselves and city authorities. The campaign's European secretariat looks forward to seeing the results.
To view a presentation given by the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Coordination at the event, click here.
Murcia and Malmö revealed as mobility award winners
21 April 2016
Murcia (Spain) and Malmö (Sweden) have been announced as the winners of the 2016 editions of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan awards respectively.
The winning cities received the awards from Director-General for DG MOVE Henrik Hololei, and Commissioner Karmenu Vella, responsible for the Environment. The award ceremony was held in the Théâtre du Vaudeville in Brussels (Belgium).
Murcia was congratulated for taking steps to promote active modes of travel such as walking and cycling. Taking the stand, Mr Vella praised all who take part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK pointing out that it is the citizens who are the real winners. He also stressed the need for more collaboration to achieve sustainable mobility objectives, saying: “we need to act together and on many fronts. We need to increase active transport, car-sharing and green public transport". Murcia’s fellow finalists for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award, Lisbon (Portugal) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain) were also commended for their efforts in encouraging multimodality in their 2015 campaigns.
Malmö received particular praise for their commitment to creating a multimodal transport network, making it easier to complete journeys sustainably. The other finalists for the SUMP Award, Utrecht (The Netherlands) and Vienna (Austria) were complimented for their own work in integrating different transport modes. Mr Hololei noted that sustainable urban mobility can play a significant role in decarbonising our cities and affirmed that “Europe can and should be a world leader in sustainable mobility solutions”.
By registering, each city will be displayed on the updated EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website and will count towards their country’s total participation figure. Registration information can be updated at any time, so your city can register and provide more information about its activities later. The registration form is available in 28 languages.
Over the next two days the campaign's National Coordinators will meet at the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK workshops in Brussels (Belgium) to exchange ideas and information on encouraging cities to participate in the campaign, as well as on sustainable mobility more generally. A number of different EU-funded mobility projects will additionally be showcased, as well as successful local mobility campaigns from countries such as Portugal and Slovenia.
This evening will see the 2016 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Awards presented at a ceremony in Brussels’ Théâtre du Vaudeville. The finalists for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award are Lisbon (Portugal), Murcia (Spain), and Palma de Mallorca (Spain). The SUMP Award finalists are Malmö (Sweden), Utrecht (The Netherlands), and Vienna (Austria). To get updates on the award ceremony, follow EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK or DG MOVE on Twitter, or search for #MobilityWeek.
Germany kicked off preparations for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2016 in the country with a national launch event on 14 and 15 April. The event was hosted by the German Environment Agency (UBA), which is the new national coordinating organisation for Germany. During the event, local and national coordinators from Austria, Germany and Luxembourg came together to share ideas and experiences on ensuring a successful EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.
UBA’s Head of Environment and Transport Section, Katrin Dziekan, brought some philosophical aspects to the table by asking, “how do we go about achieving real sustainable urban mobility in towns and cities?” Germany’s new National Coordinator Claudia Kiso facilitated brainstorming rounds on how to realise campaign actions and define ideal permanent measures relating to this year’s call to action: Smart Mobility. Strong Economy.
Jerome Simpson, responsible for engagement and outreach for the campaign, said of the event, “I am absolutely delighted with the response shown by so many key transport players from across Germany, following the enthusiasm shown by UBA to take on the role of National Coordinator. This is the perfect start to the 2016 campaign for Germany and I can’t wait to see the registrations rolling in.”
The event was attended by German federal ministries, non-governmental organisations, city and public transport representatives and the European Commission. Participants made clear their support and commitment to this year’s campaign, while also highlighting the importance of SUMPs and sustainable urban mobility planning. In Leipzig-Gohlis, local citizen's initiative Gegen Schall und Rauch are already eagerly awaiting the entry of their city in this year’s campaign. Groups such as these or others like schools or companies can also register their own sustainable mobility activities that take place outside of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK as a MOBILITYACTION.
For more information about the event (in German) click here.
Belarus joins EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK with official National Coordination
The Belarusian cities of Minsk, Novopolotsk and Polotsk took part in the 2015 edition of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. This was the first time that any cities from the country had participated in the history of the fourteen-year campaign. An informal meeting for those interesting in implementing EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Belarus in 2016 will take place at UNDP's office at 17 Kirava Street in Minsk on the morning of 27 April.