EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK News

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Brussels and Malmö take home mobility awards

20 March 2017

In an awards ceremony hosted last night at the Théâtre de Vaudeville in the heart of the Belgian capital, Malmö (Sweden) and Brussels (Belgium) were recognised for their outstanding work in advancing sustainable urban mobility. Malmö was awarded the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for its long-term focus on active transport modes such as cycling and walking. The 5th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning was given to Brussels (Belgium) for its successful freight strategy.

The awards were presented by Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport, and Daniel Calleja, Director-General for Environment.

"I'm inviting cities to come on-board and work with us, to help Europe meet its ambitious climate objectives. I would like to congratulate this year's finalists who showed that greener and smarter urban mobility is already possible. I was particularly impressed by the long-term strategies developed by Malmö to encourage active travel and by Brussels on sustainable freight. I hope they can inspire many others," said Commissioner Bulc.

"We have great candidates and great role models for sustainable mobility at this award ceremony," said Director-General Calleja. "Shifting towards sustainable and shared modes of mobility is at the centre of great opportunities, particularly for improving quality of life and growing our economy sustainably."

The ceremony followed the first day of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Workshops, which kick off the preparations for the 2017 edition of the campaign under the theme of clean, shared and intelligent mobility, as encapsulated by the slogan “Sharing gets you further”.

Malmö overcame stiff competition from fellow finalists Lisbon (Portugal) and Skopje (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), while Brussels edged out Budapest (Hungary) and Stockholm (Sweden).

For more information, read the press release.

Call for urban mobility change-maker cities

2 March 2017

The Urban Electric Mobility Initiative (UEMI) and the urban mobility SOLUTIONS Network are calling for cities from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America to become involved as leading city, take-up city or training participants.

The SOLUTIONS Network and UEMI are looking for take-up cities to work together on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures. As part of urban implementation actions the team now works with cities to assess the opportunities for e-mobility concepts in their wider sustainable transport strategy.

The mission of the SOLUTIONS and UEMI partnerships is therefore to support the take-up of innovative sustainable urban mobility solutions in cities across the world and foster the integration of urban electric mobility solutions into sustainable transport concepts. This activity is part of the EU-funded project FUTURE-RADAR. All activities within the context of the initiative will take place between May 2017 and May 2020.

The call is open until 30 April 2017. For more details on the process and the application form, visit the UEMI website.

U-MOB LIFE – the European University Network for Sustainable Mobility

23 February 2017

Universities are the engines of innovation and knowledge in Europe. As centres of learning, exchange and ideas, they can help drive the world towards a better, more sustainable future. The U-MOB LIFE project is harnessing the power of European universities to support the development of sustainable mobility in Europe.

Universities are also major commuting poles in many European cities. By improving the mobility patterns of universities, the transportation system of an entire city can benefit. To this end, the U-MOB LIFE project partners (including four universities in Rotterdam, Krakow, Bergamo and Barcelona) will gather best practices from universities across Europe. In addition to making university campuses more sustainable, there is a great potential to influence the travel habits and tendencies of students, which can have a big impact on the mobility practices of future generations.

To read the full article, visit the ACTION in the Spotlight page.

European Commission reveals sustainable mobility city champions

22 February 2017

The European Commission has revealed the finalists of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2016 and 5th Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) Award on urban freight. The winners of the two awards will be announced by Violeta Bulc, European Commissioner for Transport and by Daniel Calleja, Director General of DG Environment during an award ceremony to be held in Brussels on 20 March 2017.

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award


The finalists are Lisbon (Portugal), Malmö (Sweden) and Skopje (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). Lisbon scored well for making its public space available to pedestrians, while Malmö’s main focus was on bicycles as a sustainable means of transport. The jury also pointed out the car-pooling service in Skopje helping its residents save money and protect the environment.

The following cities were also shortlisted:
- Białystok (Poland)
- Kruševac (Serbia)
- Palma (Spain)
- Prague (Czech Republic)
- Samos (Greece)
- Sofia (Bulgaria)
- Valencia (Spain)

Shortlisted candidates display a long-term vision with strong communication and public involvement. They have an integrated approach and strategy for rewarding sustainable transport behaviour by the general public. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award aims to showcase local authorities that demonstrate significant efforts in promoting sustainable urban mobility. The 15th edition of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK took place from 16 to 22 September 2016 and a total of 2,427 towns and cities – the highest participation rate ever – organised activities in line with the campaign's annual theme: ‘Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe’ under the call-to-action ‘Smart mobility. Strong economy.’

An independent panel of mobility and transport experts has shortlisted 10 candidates and selected 3 finalists out of a total of 63 applications from 23 different countries.

The Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning Award

The Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning Award (SUMP) aims to reward local authorities that have succeeded in developing a mobility plan addressing the diverse transport needs of people and businesses and, at the same time, improving quality of life. The 5th SUMP Award on urban freight focuses on integrating the movements of goods and services in sustainable urban mobility planning.

The jury appointed three cities as finalists of the 5th SUMP Award on urban freight. These cities captured the attention of the jury: Brussels (Belgium) impressed the jury with its innovative logistics schemes; Budapest (Hungary) stood out for successfully integrating freight transport within the overall mobility strategy; and Stockholm (Sweden) was appreciated for its strategy stimulating the local economy while limiting the adverse impact of urban freight. The jury also acknowledged high quality applications from Berlin (Germany), Naples (Italy), Piatra Neamt (Romania) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands).

Last year, Murcia (Spain) received the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for its success in terms of multimodality and intermodality of transport. Malmö (Sweden) won the 4th SUMP Award for its efforts in terms of multimodality and intermodality in sustainable urban mobility planning. Promotional videos of the two winners are available below.

Want a SUMP in your city but don’t have the expertise or tools?

1 February 2017

Three new EU-funded mobility projects have launched a survey to help them understand cities’ needs and barriers when trying to develop Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). A SUMP is a strategic plan that aims to create an urban transport system for all citizens that improves safety and security, reduces air and noise pollution, greenhouse gases and energy consumption, and boosts the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the transport of people and goods.

The three new CIVITAS projects – PROSPERITY, SUITS and SUMPs-Up - hope the survey will gather valuable insights to enable them to design training courses, tools and guidance to help cities develop high-quality SUMPs. City representatives that complete the survey before Tuesday 28 February 2017 will get priority for the projects’ training and support activities, and have a chance to win up to €600 towards travel and accommodation costs for the 4th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in Dubrovnik (Croatia).

‘This survey will gather crucial details on what’s holding back or driving forward urban mobility planning in cities across Europe. It will enable our experts to create high-quality products and services that local authorities can use to develop SUMPs,’ said Cristina Garzillo, the SUMPs-Up project co-ordinator.

To take part in the survey, click here.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK Participation Report looks back at 2016

8 December 2016

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Participation Report for 2016 is now available to read online, providing a detailed analysis of the 2016 campaign’s performance in comparison to previous editions. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2016 had the highest participation rate ever witnessed by the campaign, with 2,427 participating towns and cities. This figure means that there were over 550 more participating cities than in 2015, and more than 150 compared to the previous record, set five years earlier.

As in previous editions of the campaign, Austria, Spain and Hungary were the top three countries in terms of participation. Each country witnessed a significant improvement in participation compared to 2015, with Austria adding 68 cities, Spain adding 73, and Hungary adding 32. Belgium experienced the greatest increase, with 82 extra towns and cities participating compared to 2015, leading to a total of 117 participants.

This year also saw the trend in increased levels of Car-Free Day participation continue, with 953 towns and cities closing their street(s) to traffic – 47 more than in 2015 and 170 more than in 2014. As well as participation statistics, the report includes information on visitors to www.mobilityweek.eu and growth in the campaign’s social media channels, as well as campaign highlights, conclusions and recommendations.

To view the report, click here.

Germany aims to build on Mobility Week success

7 December 2016

An interview with German National Coordinator Claudia Kiso, German Environment Agency

1. This was your first year as National Coordinator for Germany. How has your experience been?

It has been both very exciting and a lot of work. I was welcomed into the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK family with open arms and received a lot of support from the European Coordination team as well as from other National Coordinators. Their experiences and insights were invaluable. At the same time, I had to familiarise myself with how local authorities are organised in the field of sustainable transport in Germany and what kind of support they need from us as a focal point for Mobility Week in the country. Many NGOs and local authorities seemed happy that the Mobility Week national focal point was established at the Germany Environment Agency, as it resulted in increased attention. They greatly supported our work with their contacts, expertise and experience, which made our first year a lot easier.

2. Germany more than doubled its participation this year. How was this achieved?

We worked closely with German city networks such as the association of German cities, Climate-Alliance and the German association of towns and municipalities, as well as actors like the Association of German Transport Companies, DIfU, Engagement Global, and the Federal Environment Ministry, to name but a few. In addition, we tried to be present at German events related to Sustainable Mobility and Transport. We also improved our online presence in Germany by developing a German website that provides information on issues related to Mobility Week. We additionally set up a German Mobility Week Facebook account, virtually connecting to many active organisations and cities in Germany. Slowly it became more widely known that Mobility Week was “returning” to Germany and cities started calling us, inquiring about the week and what we could offer as the national focal point.

3. What have been the main challenges that you faced in getting cities interested and engaged in EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK in Germany?

I guess there were two main challenges: Firstly, the campaign wasn’t known by most cities in Germany. Since it wasn’t known, it was a lot less attractive to them to participate, as they didn’t see the added value. That is closely tied to the second challenge: Many cities in Germany are already very active in the sphere of sustainable mobility, carry out impressive work and participate in different national competitions or campaigns. So initially, Mobility Week seemed to offer little added value, since it was rather unknown, didn’t provide funding and had to take place in this specific time frame.

4. What do you think German cities and towns gain from taking part in EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK?

I believe there are several benefits for German cities. Mobility Week offers cities a specific time frame in which they can showcase their achievements in the area of sustainable mobility over the course of the year, start a dialogue with their citizens and try out new innovative transport solutions for a short while. They can see Mobility Week as an opportunity to be part of a European-wide movement of cities – while at the same time celebrating the advantages of sustainable transport modes in a fun way. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK certainly makes sustainable transport a lot less theoretical and dry – just have a look at pictures from Norderstedt or Frankfurt. Participating in Mobility Week gives cities the feeling that they are not alone in their quest for more sustainable transport. Instead they are part of a growing movement of cities all over Europe and beyond searching and finding different ways to make their local transport fit for a sustainable future.

5. What does the future hold for EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK in Germany? What would you like to see?

This year we tried to make the campaign more widely known in Germany and explain the advantages of participation to German cities. Some of our activities were quite successful, others weren’t so much. Next year our focus will be on continuing what has worked well so far and finding more ways to support German cities in organising Mobility Week 2017. We will hold practical workshops, provide materials and information and try to answer all questions that might arise. We really hope to see another doubling of figures next year! So far we are quite optimistic, as several cities have already expressed interest in the campaign.

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.

Compact cities can improve health

31 October 2016

A new study suggests that compact cities that focus on cycling and walking could boost the health of citizens. Land use, transport, and population health: estimating the health benefits of compact cities, a paper by an international team of researchers, was published last week in UK medical journal The Lancet. The team used characteristics from six cities – Boston (USA), Copenhagen (Denmark), Delhi (India), London (UK), Melbourne (Australia) and São Paulo (brazil) - to model the city-specific effect of land use and urban design interventions on the choices of transport and population health.

The authors argue that considerable health gains are observed by city planning that encourages a compact city - namely, a city of short distances that promotes increased residential density, mixed land use, enhanced public transport, and an urban form that encourages cycling and walking.

The paper says that a ‘compact-city approach’ reduces pollution from motor vehicles, and that policies that incentivise walking, cycling, and public transport while reducing subsidies for private motor vehicle use will influence the health and sustainability of growing cities. “City planners and policy makers - who have the power to influence the health of rapidly expanding cities and increasingly motorised populations - need to prioritise the minimisation of health risk exposures while maintaining or enhancing the mobility of city residents,” the authors write.

For more information, visit eltis.org.