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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 (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!