EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK News

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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!

Participation Report analyses 2017 EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK campaign

29 November 2017

The 2017 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Participation Report has been published, providing a statistical overview and analysis of this year's campaign.

In participation terms, the 2017 campaign was the most successful to date, with 2526 towns and cities taking part - an increase of 99 from 2016.

Towns and cities from 50 countries took part in the campaign, one less than in 2016. This year saw Brazil re-join the campaign with two cities registered, while Canada and Mali failed to repeat their 2016 participation.

As in previous editions of the campaign, Austria, Spain and Hungary were the top three countries for towns and cities registered. Austria and Spain improved on their 2016 totals, with Austria adding 52 municipalities and Spain adding 16, while the number of Hungarian towns and cities taking part fell by 12.

Significant increases were achieved in central and eastern Europe: Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia and Romania all saw marked improvements in participation levels.

In line with the higher participation rate, 2017 saw 542 Golden Participants - those towns and cities that carried out the three EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK criteria (implemented a permanent measure, ran a week-long campaign, and hosted Car-Free Day) – an increase of 77 from 2016 levels.

This year also saw a significant increase in Car-Free Day participation, with 1,352 towns and cities closing their street(s) to traffic – an impressive 399 more than in 2016.

For the full statistical breakdown as well as in-depth analysis, download the Participation Report [PDF].

Poland's record participation shows true extent of Mobility Week activities

10 October 2017

An interview with Maria Perkuszewska, National Coordinator for Poland

1. Poland saw a massive increase in the number of towns and cities taking part this year, going from 30 registered in 2016 to 105 this year. How was this increase achieved?

When I became a National Coordinator for Poland earlier this year, I was first and foremost surprised by the small number of Polish participants, and convinced that this number can be easily increased. Polish municipalities are very active when it comes to sustainable transport development and are involved in a variety of initiatives.

It appeared that every year a large number of Polish cities took part in the week, organising events promoting public transport and so on, but they simply never registered at www.mobilityweek.eu.

My team and I focused on identifying those municipalities that organise transport events in September but never registered. We asked regional administrations for help and were able to organise several regional info days, during which cities could familiarise themselves with the idea of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and the registration process. It seems that personal contact is essential here – we achieved the best results with direct phone calls and personalised e-mails.

2. What have been the main challenges that you faced in getting cities interested and engaged in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Poland?

The biggest challenge was to identify municipalities that organise EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK activities and then convince them to register. I’m sure there is still a lot ahead of us, more cities to get in contact with. I’ve already started to plan the 2018 campaign and we will put more emphasis on regional cooperation, direct contact and spreading the information. I’m convinced that Polish cities will only improve in coming years.

3. What do you think Polish cities and towns gain from taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK?

Sustainable urban mobility is nowadays not an option – it is a necessity. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK enables local authorities not only to focus for a few days on sustainable transport, but also on communicating important messages to their community.

It is important to mention that such initiatives can be a good opportunity for communities to get involved and do something together. In my opinion, the biggest potential is in smaller towns.

There are a lot of good examples of that, but one of my favourite examples is from Gorlice, a small city of less than 30,000 inhabitants from southern Poland. They organised a very interesting programme of activities and created one of my favourite photos from the week, involving local school kids (see the cover photo!)

It is obvious that taking part in such a broad initiative is rewarding in itself, not to mention that being part of a world-wide Mobility Week family is a great feeling!

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2017: making shared mobility clean and intelligent

15 September 2017

Today the European Commission launched the 16th EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, a flagship campaign for Mobility and Transport, taking place from 16 to 22 September 2017. More than 2,000 towns from Europe and beyond have organised events to encourage residents to try out alternatives to traditional means of transport.

Commissioner Bulc said: “Shared mobility is a smart and innovative emerging model of transportation, with the potential to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads: for example, for each shared car, 15 private cars are off the road. But it's not only about cars; we are witnessing a real spurt of shared bike systems in cities and towns across the EU. We need to ensure that the future of urban mobility is both shared and sustainable."

The theme of the 2017 campaign is ‘Clean, shared and intelligent mobility’, with the call-to-action ‘Sharing gets you further’.

This year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK encourages people to use shared forms of transportation such as bicycle and car sharing. Europe is the leader in shared mobility solutions and the value of transactions in shared mobility in Europe was estimated at EUR 5.1 billion in 2015. It is expected to exceed EUR 100 billion in 2025. Sharing transportation not only helps people save money, but also support the EU's goals of achieving a low-emission economy.

Every year, local authorities making significant efforts to promote sustainable urban mobility during the campaign, can apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award until 23 October 2017.

In 2017, for the first time, small municipalities will have their own category within the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award. This means that two awards will be presented: one for municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants and one for municipalities with 50,000 inhabitants or more.

Local authorities can also apply for the Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP Award) until 3 November 2017. The SUMP Award rewards the development of a mobility plan addressing the diverse transport needs of people and businesses.

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Webinar addresses participation of smaller municipalities

31 July 2017

On 18 July 2017, around 50 local campaigners joined the webinar “Small municipalities doing big things during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK”. The webinar focussed on how smaller municipalities can organise successful activities during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

Small municipalities ranging in size from 3,000 to roughly 70,000 inhabitants from across Europe presented the activities they organised during the 2016 campaign. Presentations came from Bissen (Luxembourg), Farkadona (Greece), Gioia del Colle (Italy), Katrineholm (Sweden), Kozani (Greece), Labin (Croatia), Pančevo (Serbia) and Xanthi (Greece). Some had participated in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in 2016 for the first time, while others have longer experience with the campaign.

From a bus-stop book booth to pop-up parks, car-free days to “Intelligent bus stops”, each city had innovative and unique ideas for promoting sustainable mobility in their communities. A common goal was to engage citizens in the process, which – according to the organisers – leads to the best outcome. Labin used a social media photo competition to raise awareness among citizens, while Xanthi launched a comprehensive communication plan with radio, television and newspaper coverage.

Listening to the enthusiastic organisers, one thing became clear: it doesn’t take a lot of money to organise a great sustainable mobility activity. Through dedicated local organisers and strong local partnerships, it’s possible to re-imagine how transportation works in our communities. It’s not just about large cities with vast public transport fleets – small municipalities have a pivotal role to play.

In 2017, for the first time, small municipalities will have their own award category for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award. This means that two awards will be given out: one for municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants and one for municipalities with 50,000 inhabitants or more. The application period will open on 22 September 2017, the final day of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2017.

The webinar also included a short presentation on the Thematic Guidelines for the 2017 theme – “Clean, shared and intelligent mobility”. Looking towards the upcoming edition of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, more than a few ideas for linking this year’s theme to local activities were exchanged.

A recording of the webinar can be viewed below or by clicking here.

European Commission launches financial incentive for green cities

15 June 2017

The European Commission has launched the competition for the 2020 European Green Capital and 2019 European Green Leaf Awards. With more than two thirds of Europeans now living in towns and cities, finding innovative and better environmentally sustainable solutions is necessary to manage and improve how we live, travel, and work. European Green Capitals and Green Leafs provide inspiration and motivation to help other cities find solutions, on both a European and a global stage.

To celebrate the 10th year of the European Green Capital competition and to encourage more cities to apply, the European Commission will award a financial incentive of €350,000 to the winning city of the 2020 European Green Capital title (cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants) and €75,000 to the winner of the European Green Leaf 2019 title (smaller cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants).

Winning Green Capital and Green Leaf cities enjoy increased levels of tourism, positive international media coverage, increased international profiles, networks and alliance opportunities, foreign investment, and momentum to continue improving their environmental sustainability.

To help cities get started, the European Commission has organised a dedicated Applicant Workshop to be held on 27 June 2017 in Brussels (Belgium). The day will provide an overview of the competition process, include tips on how to complete the application, and will provide an opportunity to meet cities that have gone through the application process before. To register, contact applicantworkshop@europeangreencapital.eu

Both the European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards are open to cities in EU Member States, EU Candidate Countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The deadline for applications for both competitions is 18 October 2017.

For more information, visit the European Green Capital Award website.

Greek municipalities prepared for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2017

6 June 2017

On 30 May, more than 100 representatives from towns and cities in Greece got together to get inspiration and prepare the organisation of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, which takes place from 16 to 22 September.

The aim of the gathering was to establish a real network of local campaigners to exchange experience and know-how. Participation in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has increased remarkably in Greece over the past years, growing from 8 municipalities in 2013 to 86 municipalities in 2016.

The Greek Minister for Environment and Energy, Socrates Famelos, kicked off the day with a speech highlighting the role of cities that first invested in the development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans. The Greek Government recently launched a fund to support sustainable urban mobility projects in municipalities with more than 25,000 inhabitants.

The European Secretariat was represented by Juan Caballero, who gave some tips and tricks to Greek municipalities on how to prepare their campaign and apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award. Greek National Coordinators Vasilis Tikos and Kaliopi Papadaki then presented the user-friendly registration system to local campaigners. They also reaffirmed their commitment in supporting Greek municipalities to prepare for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

Urban transport roadmaps: a web-based tool to help cities develop sustainable mobility strategies

27 April 2017

The urban transport roadmaps tool, developed for DG Move, European Commission, by Ricardo Energy & Environment and Trasporti e Territorio, is a web-based tool to help city authorities develop urban transport roadmaps that address the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues faced by their transportation systems between now and 2030.

The tool provides cities with the ability to identify, develop, screen and assess different transport policies and measures. In particular, it helps cities to quickly and easily assess the likely costs and impacts of measures that could help them improve the sustainability of their transport systems. Cities can explore combinations of different policy scenarios and assess the impacts of these scenarios on the environment, safety, mobility, the economy and the city’s transport system. This type of scenario analysis helps cities to rapidly identify which policy measures are likely to be useful in supporting their own urban transport sustainability goals.

A key benefit of the tool is that users do not need any prior experience in transport modelling. The tool is user-friendly, and has a simple and intuitive graphical user interface.

For more information, visit www.urban-transport-roadmaps.eu

Award winning Malmö uses EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK to reach the city's mobility goals

25 April 2017

An interview with Olof Rabe, Mobility Projects Manager, City of Malmö

What activities did Malmö undertake to help it win the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award?

There are several activities that I think contributed to our success, but if I have to highlight some of them I would say that the temporary reformation of a street, the opportunity for citizens and visitors to discuss mobility issues with officials, and our whole-day conference were three activities that turned out well.

For the whole week we devoted a street in the centre of Malmö to EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, focusing on the number of pedestrians and cyclists, and reforming the street into a welcoming space for all people. That became a great activity and left a strong impression that people in the city still talk about.

During the week officials from our Streets and Parks Department were present on the street, and visitors got the opportunity to discuss Malmö’s mobility issues with them.

We also held a whole-day conference on the theme of the year. Invited speakers from different fields talked about the issues from their perspective. Local politicians debated the theme and the information presented. At the end the audience had the opportunity to discuss in smaller groups.

What does winning the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award mean to the city?

The award is a recognition that we are doing good work when it comes to sustainable mobility. I also think that the award makes the citizens of Malmö proud of their city. Of course, for those involved in the project it is really a fantastic response. As the success of the project increases, the demand also grows to make more efforts for active travel.

What are the benefits of taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK from a city perspective?

We have ambitious goals for our future traffic system, as clearly stated in our Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). To accelerate towards our goals, we must first create a greater demand for sustainable mobility. This requires working across all levels in the city. Citizens of Malmö, property owners, shopkeepers and other stakeholders have a key role to play in this development. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is particularly important in this process. It creates commitment and demands in a way that can facilitate the work to reach the city’s goals.

What advice would you give to cities that are looking to follow in your footsteps and take home the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award?

- Try to combine the event with a city development project.
- Involve the city inhabitants, property owners, business owners and other stakeholders which are most affected by the event and the development project.
- Concentrate the event to a specific location in the city, link all activities to the theme, present the permanent measures under the week, and rather focus on fewer but clearer activities. Also try to have activities every day.
- Evaluate the project. We allowed external actors to do a visitor survey during the week as well as a project evaluation of the entire work process before, during and after the project.

Commission launches competition for young transport innovators

7 April 2017

The European Commission has launched the European Transport Innovation Challenge 2017, a new award offered to young transport innovators for creative solutions for goods and services that will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions in transport.

The solutions can be the result of research, can be in any transport mode, and in many different sectors linked to transport, such as solutions in healthcare, retail or food sectors. The key word is innovation.

The prize will be an all-expenses trip for 12 young innovators aged 18-35 to Strasbourg (France) for the ITS Congress and Exhibition in June 2017.

In addition to receiving free travel and accommodation, and having the opportunity to network with leaders in the world of intelligent transport in Europe, the winners will receive personalised coaching at a dedicated mentoring workshop before the Congress begins.

Applications can come from a person, a team, a company (providing it is an SME) or any other type of legal entity anywhere in the European Union a country associated with the Horizon 2020 programme.

Both individuals (including those working for administrations and transport providers) and SMEs are eligible.

Entrants should describe in less than 1,500 words how mobility in Europe could be cleaner and more efficient. The deadline for applications is 2 May.

For more information, visit ec.europa.eu.