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.