EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK News

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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.

5th European Conference on SUMPs to encourage debate on future of sustainable urban mobility

5 February 2018

Registration for the European Commission’s fifth conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), taking place in Nicosia (Cyprus) from 14-15 May, is now open.

The conference is Europe's leading annual event for all those involved in putting the SUMP concept into practice. It serves as a forum for policy makers and academics across Europe to network, debate key issues, and exchange ideas on sustainable urban mobility planning.

In light of the European Commission dedicating this year to the promotion of multimodality, the theme of this year's conference is multimodality, with a focus on the integration of transport modes and combined mobility solutions for passengers and freight in cities and regions.

The opening plenary session will be delivered by European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc. Attendance is free of charge, with representatives of local and regional authorities, policy makers, urban mobility planners, academics and other urban mobility professionals especially welcome.

For more information, click here.

European cities could avoid up to 10,000 premature deaths by expanding cycling networks

16 January 2018

A study published in ‘Preventive Medicine’ has found that expanding designated cycling networks in cities could provide considerable health and economic benefits.

The analysis, part of European Commission funded Physical Activity through Sustainable Transport Approaches (PASTA) project, of data from 167 European cities suggests that the length of cycling infrastructures is associated with a cycling mode share of up to 24.7 percent, in which 1 in every 4 citizens would choose the bicycle for their daily commuting.

The study, estimates that if all the assessed cities achieved a 24.7 percent bicycle mode share, over 10,000 premature deaths could be avoided annually.

“This is the first study evaluating the potential associations between cycling network length, mode share and associated health impacts across European cities”, states Natalie Mueller, ISGlobal researcher and first author of the paper.

The health impact assessment conducted showed that a routine shift in the transport mode to cycling is positive for health due to the associated increase in physical activity, “whose benefits outweigh detrimental effects of air pollution and traffic incidents”, adds Mueller.

For more information and to read the press release in full, click here.

Poland wraps up their most successful year with a workshop

15 December 2017

On 13-14 December, the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Construction organised a workshop attended by EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK local campaigners. The aim of this meeting was to evaluate their participation in the latest campaign, which takes place every year from 16-22 September. In 2017, Poland experienced a significant increase in participation with 105 municipalities registering on www.mobilityweek.eu (250 percent more than the year before).

The European Secretariat of the campaign was represented by Juan Caballero, project coordinator at EUROCITIES, who explained the awards scheme and the partnership strategy.

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards seek to recognise towns and cities that have shown excellence in the organisation of the campaign. In the last edition, five Polish municipalities applied for the award, which for the first time will present awards in two categories: one for smaller municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants and the other for cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. A list of previous winners and more information on the awards are available on the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website.

It is not an easy task to prepare a successful award application. For this reason, the European Secretariat wished to give some tips and advice to the Polish municipalities interested in applying for the award (in its two categories). The secret is to link the programme of activities to the annual theme, provide participation figures, implement new permanent measures, set an ambitious target in terms of modal split, and carry out plenty of activities (including Car-Free Day) during the week of 16-22 September.

When political support and budget are lacking in the preparations of such a campaign, partnerships and citizen involvement can make a difference. Good partnerships are key to fulfilling a rich programme of activities. It is not a question of compiling a long list of partners, but to engage with relevant organisations. The municipalities participating in the meeting presented the different kind of partners they work with, ranging from sport clubs to libraries. The European Secretariat reminded them not to forget local business, big companies, and, of course, celebrities!

Around 30 local authorities attended this two-day workshop in Warsaw. For 2018, the Polish National Coordinator plans to organise similar events in the different regions of the country to help local campaigners get ready for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2018.

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!