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Braga and Metropolia GZM win European urban mobility awards; Ukrainian cities receive special mention

24 March 2023

In 2022, nearly 3,000 towns and cities from over 50 countries participated in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK to raise awareness about sustainable mobility and foster Better Connections with their local communities. In addition, 1,456 MOBILITYACTIONS were registered by businesses, civil society organisations, and more, to promote behavioural shifts toward sustainable urban mobility.

From Cyprus to Iceland, Portugal to Finland and beyond, permanent measures, interactive awareness-raising activities, mobility management plans and active mobility events were implemented to demonstrate the benefits of a world in which active, sustainable travel is the norm.

Of all the participants, two rose to the top for their outstanding campaign-related efforts: Braga (Portugal) and Metropolia GZM (Poland) snatched the titles of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award 2022 and the first-ever MOBILITYACTION award, respectively, at the MOBILITYAWARDS ceremony in Ghent, which featured a keynote speech from Ghent’s Mayor Mathias De Clercq. A well-deserved special mention was also bestowed on Chernihiv, Kamianets-Podilskiy, Lviv, Poltava and Uzhhorod (Ukraine) for their participation in the 2022 campaign despite the ongoing war.

Braga impressed the jury with its commitment to raise awareness on sustainable mobility with many stakeholders, including universities, local businesses and residents. During the campaign’s main event week, from 16 - 22 September, the Portuguese city worked with over one hundred companies to open streets for pedestrian use and construct interactive green spaces. A “Mobility Safari” involving 30 companies was also held to illustrate the importance of decarbonisation and the impact of sustainable mobility in advancing this goal. Active mobility activities for all ages - such as gymnastics and cycling - were organised to spread awareness on the benefits of sustainable mobility. The city also launched the first phase of implementation for its bike-share service.

Meanwhile, the MOBILITYACTION jury selected Metropolia GZM for its comprehensive approach to transforming a local university car park into a green, pedestrian-friendly space. Engaging professionals from the public transport, cycling, social development, sustainable mobility and urban policy sectors, the Polish metropolis co-created a car-park transformation that would not only benefit the university, but would also decrease related traffic and encourage locals to use the space. Urban furniture and greenery were installed, as well as traffic calming measures. The first reports show more people from on- and off-campus frequenting the area. Urban designers are currently conducting interviews to better understand how to remove all ground-level parking spots and implement accessible public transport solutions across the campus.

Braga competed against Sofia (Bulgaria) and Zagreb (Croatia) for the title, while Metropolia GZM was in competition with Ar2gether (Italy) and UCB Pharma (Belgium).

In addition to celebrating the winners’ achievements during the award ceremony, a spotlight was placed on the five brave Ukrainian towns and cities that participated in the campaign in spite of Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine. Lesya Loyko, National Coordinator for Ukraine, described how it felt to receive an unexpected special mention:

“It came as a total surprise to me, the organisers managed to keep it completely secret. I was told there would be this little video about five Ukrainian cities and I appreciated that very much…when I saw the award, I was very touched. Surely, I take it as a sign of appreciation for the cities. It is not my award as a National Coordinator, but it is truly an award for the cities that try to do important things through the pleasant approach of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. The cities are in a difficult situation because of different aspects. They have an agenda to first address the critical needs of their people, but still they are on this route to sustainable mobility and they use the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK to underline important things, such as changing the city environment in favour of pedestrians, cycling and public transport.”

Chernihiv, Kamianets-Podilskiy, Lviv, Poltava and Uzhhorod organised sustainable mobility awareness raising activities during the week of 16 – 22 September. Activities included a cycling race to bring humanitarian aid to a local village, opening city streets to pedestrians for a ‘Car-Free Day’ and workshops on tactical urbanism.

To learn more about the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and MOBILITYACTION awards, click here.

To learn more about campaign participants, click here. Discover MOBILITYACTIONS, here.

When we travel ‘slowly’ the journey becomes as important as the destination

21 February 2023

Why do we travel? Is it to learn more about other people and places? To explore new cultures and cuisines? Today, there are more ways to travel than ever before. In our fast-paced world, people are often focused on ticking destinations off a list, instead of slowing down and enjoying the journey. ‘Slow travel’ is a movement pushing back against the idea that “more” is better and “faster” is always fun.

Like the Slow Food Movement, which began in Italy in the 1980s as a way to protect local cuisine and traditional farming and cooking methods, Slow Travel underlines connection to people and places, and rejects the ‘fast life’.

Slow travel, and tourism, encourages people to take their time while exploring local heritage and history, and to keep an eye on how their travel and activities impact the local community and the environment.

Sustainable and active mobility is an important part of slow travel because it helps to reduce emissions and save energy. This could mean choosing to take the train for several hours to your destination of choice, instead of opting for a one-hour flight. Or it could mean planning a bike trip to a nearby town or heritage site, instead of renting a car.

In addition to saving energy and helping to reduce transport related emissions, travelling sustainably can also add to the travel experience: just take a look at these six train routes across some of Europe’s most beautiful landscapes, including the German Rhineland, the Swiss and Italian Alps, Ireland’s Golden Vale and the Tarn Valley in France. All of these trips can be taken with an Interrail pass. When you travel ‘slowly’ the journey becomes as important as the destination.

Of course, it is not always possible to choose public transport or active mobility modes to arrive at your destination. However, slow travel is also about mindset. It can be practised once you arrive at your destination - by choosing to travel sustainably to local sites and restaurants and to support local businesses - and encourages you to live in the moment, while reflecting on how and why you travel.

Some tourist destinations are starting to support ‘slow travellers’ by making it easier to make sustainable travel choices. For example, Destination nature is a programme offered to visitors of the Swiss National Park and surrounding areas. The programme creates, and promotes, travel packages with attractive public transport prices. There are also many innovative, flexible and sustainable mobility options on site to support travellers as their plans develop.

So, the next time you’re thinking about travel, ask yourself: why do I want to go here? How do I want to get there? What impact am I leaving behind? If you ask yourself these questions, then you may begin to see how slow travel can help you get the most out of your experience, while leaving less behind.

Clean, intelligent and sustainable transport solutions are needed to achieve Europe’s climate ambitions

8 February 2023

Transport is responsible for 24% of global carbon emissions and is the only economic sector in which the number of emissions continues to rise. In Europe, 77% of all transport-related emissions come from road transport. Switching to sustainable mobility solutions – such as public transport, walking and cycling - presents a key opportunity to reduce emissions, decrease pollution and improve quality of life for all.

Authorities at the local, regional, national and international levels are largely responsible for creating the proper conditions and incentives for sustainable mobility, while people have the power to make sustainable mobility choices. In order to achieve Europe’s ambitious goal to become carbon neutral by 2050, and to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, towns, cities, businesses and organisations need to focus on developing and implementing clean, intelligent and accessible transport solutions.

Alongside investments in green transport infrastructure, and the provision of a cohesive legislative framework and incentives, society needs to see decisive changes in behaviour. Currently, one third of cars sold in Europe are sports utility vehicles (SUVs). There are now 200 million SUVs around the world, which represents a 60% increase in the global car fleet since 2010, according to the IEA. A cultural shift is necessary; one that prioritises sustainable transport - including trains, trams and buses - and favours active mobility choices - like cycling and walking - which have been shown to improve physical and mental well-being.

Fortunately, many Europeans are already demonstrating their support for more sustainable transport. A recent survey conducted by the European Investment Bank shows that 64% of Europeans are willing to make the switch from cars to public transport based on environmental concerns. Eastern Europe in particular stands out for its high use of public transport.

In addition to people voicing their approval for greener transport, many towns, cities and countries offer proven innovative solutions that can be replicated in similar contexts throughout Europe. For example, Barcelona (Spain) is prioritising pedestrians with its ‘Superblocks’ plan to turn 1 out of every 3 streets in the city into a green street with more space for people to meet and interact, and to reduce traffic. By 2024, the city hopes to see 80% of trips taken by foot, bike or public transport and it is already noticing a significant reduction in air and noise pollution in existing superblocks.

In Austria, citizens are now able to purchase a ‘Klimaticket,’ which is a yearly ticket that includes all travel by bus, train, tram and other state-run transport. With this ticket, Austria hopes to reduce its CO2 emissions and make sustainable transport more accessible and affordable.

Meanwhile, across Europe, new night trains - from Brussels to Berlin, Warsaw to Prague, Zagreb to Zurich and more - offer a more sustainable alternative for those who need to travel greater distances. Citizen initiatives and businesses – like the MOBILITYACTIONs 30 Bologna and Solar City Cars - are also supporting the switch to sustainable travel by addressing city traffic and road transport.

As demonstrated by the nearly 3.000 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK participants in 2022, many towns, cities, organisations and people are taking steps in the right direction. Nevertheless, to meet our climate ambitions, an even greater shift to sustainable transport options, such as public transport, walking and cycling, is needed. A greener Europe, and a Europe with fewer emissions and less pollution, depends on the implementation of clean, intelligent and sustainable transport solutions.

Learn more about the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign and how towns and cities are taking action by raising awareness on sustainable mobility and introducing new permanent infrastructure.

Valongo embraces active mobility to improve quality of life and tackle energy crisis

8 December 2022

In 2022, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK promoted Better Connections to improve sustainable mobility policies, practices and behaviours across Europe, and beyond. As the year comes to a close, we sat down with Alderman Paulo Esteves Ferreira of Valongo, Portugal - a 2021 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award winner - to learn how the municipality is using sustainable mobility to strengthen connections in the local community, reduce its carbon footprint and to tackle the ongoing energy crisis.

What did it mean to Valongo to win the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for smaller municipalities in 2021?

Besides being a surprise, we were filled with pride and the feeling that we are doing the right thing. Sometimes we have an idea - a strategy for the city - but that does not mean it is right. Each person has their own opinion and their own truth, so sometimes we think something is right and it might not be. But when someone from outside, impartial and within the scope of [many] applications tells a small town in Portugal that they are [doing something] right, it is a joy and brings great pride to be recognised for doing things well.

What are the objectives of the sustainable mobility transformations in the city?

We were elected in October 2013, and the idea has always been that we will be here for a maximum of 12 years because that is what the law allows us with a three-term limit. Therefore, we thought, “what are we going to do to receive this municipality and transform it into something better? And what is this 'something better'?” There was an image that was very attached to Valongo of being a dormitory city, a crossing city where people just pass through. There are those who sleep [here] because they are going to work in Porto, but it is cheaper to live here. We want to change this image of a dormitory city, a crossing city, to an image of a city where people can really live, and live with quality of life.

Is there anything in particular that you are most proud of or that you think worked better for people in terms of mobility transformations?

The [measure] that had a greater impact, with a relatively low investment, is what we did on Lagueirões Avenue, where we had four car lanes and we removed one on each side to get people to run. It is an example of what we want to do in terms of changing the importance of the car in the city and passing this importance on to the people. However, there was a lot of resistance at first. I was even confronted by some people who lived there. Now, I think it is unthinkable [for Lagueirões Avenue] not to be like that. If another political executive comes along and wants to change it, people will not accept it.

There is usually some resistance to changes on roads or spaces for cars from the population. How did Valongo deal with this?

It is worse in small towns than in big cities because in big cities people who don't like it don't complain to anyone. There are many people who don't live there, who just work and visit, so it's easier to accept. In the small town, people complain directly to us, everyone knows each other and we are directly confronted when we go out on the street. I am confronted frequently. What I do first is to explain what we are doing and ask what exactly is wrong because many times the person does not even know what is wrong.

We are not doing this to upset people; we want to please, not displease. If we want to be politicians with a long-term strategic vision, we have to have the courage to do things that people often don't immediately recognise, but eventually will, as happened with Lagueirões Avenue. At first there was a lot of criticism, but now everyone thinks it’s spectacular. Right now, those who live there say that their houses have increased in value, however, that recognition took half a year.

The 2022 theme for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is Better Connections. How can citizens make use of these sustainable mobility transformations to better connect with other people, places and new ways of getting around?

Returning to what I said at the beginning, there were many people who only came to Valongo to sleep. They get in their cars, enter the garage, enter the elevator, and go home. When one wants to do something, they go to the elevator, garage, get in the car and leave to go to the supermarket, to the cinema or out of town. And what we're trying to do is give people an opportunity to remember that they can do things within the city, like take a walk, see the shops, talk to other people, go to the mountains... There is even a workshop for kids to understand the importance of Valongo. We are creating a set of possible outdoor infrastructures. We are going to hold municipal art workshops, create bike paths to connect these points, and work on riverbanks so that people can walk along the river. Instead of going to the seaside, you can walk along the riverside here. This is what will lead people to connect with themselves and with the city, develop social ties with their neighbours and create a face-to-face social network. So this is the transformation, which in the future will certainly last. There is no going back.

Europe is experiencing an energy crisis. How does Valongo deal with increases in energy and fuel prices through sustainable mobility policies? Is there a connection between the two?

Yes, because by creating these possibilities to use other means of transport, we are giving an alternative to the car. Travelling by car is very expensive, so now people can walk to the centre, which is not as dangerous as it used to be. By creating these tours and projects related to bicycles, we are giving adults and children another option. Parents usually pick up their children by car, which wastes fuel and is expensive, but children will be able to move around on foot or by bicycle because now it is safe. When we bet on these soft modes and invest in more sidewalks and bike lanes, we are giving an opportunity to reduce spending on fossil fuels and gasoline. Walking is also much more economical.

We have [also] renovated public transport, for example, our train stations to make them more inviting, but also to support intermodality. It is a transfer from bus to train, bus to bicycle, to create alternatives so that people can leave the car and, therefore, reduce their carbon footprint. And we've already done something else in this regard, which was to change all the public lighting that used to be conventional fixtures to LED coating - all public lighting. There are still municipalities that are in this process, we have already surpassed it, and we have also reduced this footprint a lot. Everything we have been doing is clearly aimed at decarbonising and helping to have a better future.

Learn more about Valongo, here.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Donate your bicycle to support aid workers in Ukraine

2 December 2022

On 24 February, 2022 Russia invaded Ukraine. Despite months of bombing and violent attacks, the people of Ukraine continue to show incredible resilience. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK National Coordinator for Ukraine, Lesya Loyko, shares some of the central challenges that Ukraine faces as a result of the immense damage to its public transportation infrastructure, and how you can help.

Among the many consequences of Russia’s invasion, mobility and people’s ability to get around have been severely impacted. What impacts have you seen?

In the very first period after the war started, public transport was immediately stopped because it was unclear how the shelling or bombing would happen. The enterprises responsible for running the services for public transport were afraid of what would happen if people were in trolley buses or trams. Also, the role of public transport changed: many buses were mobilised to transport people from areas under shelling to safe places. Green corridors were organised and about 50 buses were just transporting people [to safety]. On the other hand, the subway - also public transport - was being used as a shelter, especially in the capital city. Each night people moved to the subway, so it was open 24 hours.

When the situation improved a bit and stabilised, public transport began again, but was facing challenges due to fuel shortages. Unfortunately, many fleets were just hit by missiles and bombs and transport enterprises lost buses, trolleys and trams. For electric transport, the network has also been destroyed and there are kilometres of it that will need to be rebuilt. Mayors understand the importance of public transport and are really investing every effort to get it up and running again. There were periods in some cities that transport was free of charge so that at least people could get to medical centres and so on.

In spite of all the challenges you mentioned, you still had some towns and cities participating in this year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. How was the effort to engage them? What did they focus on?

I noticed that, interestingly, the activities that were organised were patriotic. For example, in the City of Lviv there are two great initiatives. One is ‘Bike, Friend!,’ which is very moving because they try to find local people who bike and connect them with internally displaced people fleeing the war. Lviv got 150,000 new people as a result of the war over a few months. This initiative is trying to connect these people so they can share bikes. Another one is a social bike sharing scheme for internally displaced people. If you are registered you receive some support from the state and those who have registered as internally displaced can apply to get bikes brought from Europe. Then you can rent a bike for a week and return it so someone else can use it. Sometimes people’s cars are damaged or they have had to leave [their home] with two bags, maybe a cat or dog. They have what they brought and that’s it.

Also, some cities implemented permanent measures. It was a challenge because we have a law now, because of the war, that states that municipalities can only spend money on repairs because all of the money is being collected for the army and people. So even if our municipalities did permanent measures like the improvement of pavements or small things, like street crossings, it was also important.

It seems that the bike is now a critical tool for Ukraine.

When all this chaos was happening the bicycle was the saving means of moving for some people. It’s at home, it’s easy to use, even for escaping. I know cases where they would put two bigger bags on a bike and escape, using them as carriage transport. Those NGOs who were actively promoting bikes before the war continue to do so. For example, in the capital city Kyiv, a bicycle count is organised twice a year and they even managed to do it earlier this summer. For this event, people physically go out to certain streets and count how many bicycles go through in the morning, in the evening, on a working day, weekend day, etc. Actually, the numbers didn't drop. People continue to use bicycles despite the danger. Now there is a national campaign Vision Zero - meaning zero deaths on the road - and one of the messages behind this [for us] is that people are killed in the war so let’s put some effort in to ensure that people are not killed on the road. The situation is difficult, but at least the people I know are enthusiastic and want to make the country even better than it was before the war.

You helped launch a campaign called #BikesforUkraine with six NGOs. Can you tell us a little bit more about it and how people can support it?

This campaign is meant to help those cities who have suffered most from the Russian invasion. Cities where the infrastructure has been destroyed, where people have left and neighbours or relatives in need are stuck in the city and it is difficult to reach them. #BikesforUkraine is about collecting new and old bikes, spare parts, donations to support volunteers, social workers, medical workers, those who are really the helping hand for people who are in a desperate situation. These bicycles are distributed among organisations within the cities that help other people.

How one can help: it’s easy. We are a coalition of six NGOs that started this initiative and anyone who would like to help Ukraine in a good, humanistic, positive way can contact us. We have contacts that we share and we can explain more about how the campaign works.

If someone has a few bikes and would like to send them to you, what should they do?

There are hundreds of ways this can happen, but let’s give an example of Freiburg (Germany) which is a sister city to Lviv. Freiburg already organises different kinds of support like medicine, food, and mattresses and is sending this to Ukraine. Knowing this we can go to Lviv and ask them when the next shipment from Freiburg will come. Then we could say, would you please pick up three bikes for us?

To organise the donation, drop off or delivery of bikes, fill out this form.
For more information about the #BikesforUkraine campaign, visit the website: here.
Contact for more information.

This interview was edited for length and clarity.

Reduce fuel consumption and build better connections with regular Car-Free Days

21 October 2022

It’s been almost a month since EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s main event came to a close on World Car-Free Day. 2,988 towns and cities from 51 countries registered sustainable mobility awareness-raising events and activities from 16 - 22 September. Many participated by organising their very own car-free day or weekend. But cities and towns don’t have to wait for World Car-Free Day, or EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s main event, to coordinate a car-free day.

In light of Russia's ongoing aggression against Ukraine and the need to drastically reduce Europe’s dependency on (Russian) fossil fuels as quickly as possible – as detailed in the European Commission’s REPowerEU plan - there has never been a better time to organise a monthly or weekly car-free day. The Clean Cities Campaign estimates that one weekly car-free day in all major European cities could reduce Europe’s annual oil consumption from urban transport by 3 – 5%. This is equivalent to having the European workforce work from home three days a week or 0.63% - 1.10% of the EU’s total annual oil consumption, which is the same as annual oil demand from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

In addition to a reduction in fuel consumption, organising more regular car-free days would improve local traffic congestion while lowering related air and noise pollution levels. Car-free days are also a wonderful opportunity for residents of all ages to form better connections with their peers, public transport and the city or town in which they live: just ask the 1,191 towns and cities that recorded a car-free day during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s main event week in 2022.

And for those local authorities who have not yet been able to coordinate a car-free day or who are wondering where to start, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has got you covered! Our ‘How to organise a Car-Free Day in 10 steps’ infographic will help you prepare your town or city for its very first car-free day.

No matter how many towns and cities are able to organise, any car-free day is a great way to further promote sustainable urban mobility and its many benefits, while significantly reducing fuel consumption.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK launches new award to spotlight impactful mobility management

13 October 2022

Thanks to hundreds of registered MOBILITYACTIONs, the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign has witnessed innovative initiatives by civil society organisations, businesses and schools that improve sustainable urban mobility and steer Europe towards a climate-neutral future. To reward these critical efforts, the European Commission has launched the MOBILITYACTION Award.

Schools, companies, citizen initiatives, and more, have always been an essential part of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s mission to promote sustainable urban mobility and encourage the adoption of more sustainable travel behaviours. Impactful mobility management is an effective way for institutions and organisations to influence people’s travel choices for the greater good, while providing practical solutions to enable this behavioural change.

But, what exactly is mobility management? According to the EU Urban Mobility Framework it is:

“A concept to promote sustainable transport and manage the demand for car use by changing travellers' attitudes and behaviour, in particular at the level of companies, organisations and institutions."

The newly-minted MOBILITYACTION Award seeks to highlight the importance of mobility management and planning, as well as measures and strategies which have a notable impact on sustainable mobility, such as: encouraging active transport, supporting the use of shared/public transport, enabling a shift towards more sustainable transport options, improving environmental factors/reducing emissions, creating educational campaigns, encouraging positive behavioural change, increasing safety, improving accessibility and user convenience, reclaiming green/public space and improving liveability for residents.

MOBILITYACTIONs that encompass replicable solutions hold the greatest potential for the award, as these initiatives can be widely shared and implemented.

Applications are now open and will be accepted until 31 October 2022. For more information about the award, eligibility and the application process, please visit our dedicated MOBILITYACTION Award page and consult the Call for Applications.



An interview with Rethymno, winner of the EU Urban Road Safety Award

24 August 2022

Achieving Vision Zero – a global movement to end traffic fatalities – is an important part of
2021 EU Urban Road Safety Award winner Rethymno’s holistic strategy to promote sustainable, safe and healthy mobility for both residents and tourists. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK heard from Georgios Marinakis, Mayor of Rethymno, about the city’s continued plan to prioritise road safety, while setting an example for others.

In the spring, Rethymno impressed the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK jury with its inclusive approach to road safety, which targets three pillars: 1) upgrading the public transport system to provide better options for the community, 2) increasing and encouraging behavioural change through different activities and 3) fostering integrated cooperation with a variety of local stakeholders.

What does winning the EU Urban Road Safety Award mean for Rethymno?

For Rethymno, winning the EU Urban Road Safety Award is a confirmation of our long journey, which started 15 years ago, with strategic planning and orientation towards the principles of sustainable mobility in the public space with an emphasis on accessibility for people with disabilities and the elderly, and generally to anyone with difficulties when moving around an urban environment.
Obviously this award is a motivation for our public authority and society to continue with interventions and policies in this direction. Rethymno, which is a popular touristic destination, strengthens its reputation with this award, especially concerning road safety issues.

What are the next steps for Rethymno to continue moving toward Vision Zero and ensuring that its roads are safer?

It is very important to build on and coordinate the progress made so far. The tools that our municipality already has in this direction will be enhanced and will continue to develop because each of us really is making an effort to make all our road crossings safe so that people with mobility difficulties and those who are visually impaired can move around independently without the risk of accident. The city’s current state for road safety is exceptional since road accidents are extremely reduced, thus moving the ‘Vision’ towards zero in Rethymno.

This vision is enhanced by the extensive cooperation between Rethymno’s Traffic Police and stakeholders as well as by taking advantage of the data already available, which all enable the mobility patterns in the city to improve significantly.

What advice would you give other cities looking to improve road safety? What elements are most important to consider when working on road safety?

The key to achieving road safety improvements is determination because established interests and behaviour, as well as the high political cost, are obstacles to integrating the principles of sustainable mobility in the city. Nowadays, the need to further promote sustainable mobility has been demonstrated by the current energy crisis which forces environmental footprints to increase, causing extreme weather conditions. In order to achieve the targeted results, the planning process should not be partial, but instead should be part of a wider integrated strategic planning process and should be combined with a learning process at all levels – educating students, professional drivers and the public about sustainable modes and commuting with safety.

Are you interested in learning more about road safety activities in your community? Check out our participation page to see what activities towns and cities are organising this year.

An interview with Tampere, winner of the 10th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning

20 July 2022

This spring, Tampere, Finland won the 10th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK caught up with Deputy Mayor Aleksi Jäntti to discuss what the award means for the city and its future sustainability endeavours.

As a rapidly growing urban area, Tampere is working to create a liveable, inclusive city for all. Its multidisciplinary approach to sustainable urban mobility planning empowers its residents to make healthier mobility choices that are active, safe and environmentally friendly. The City's winning sustainable urban mobility plan includes an impact assessment of the effect that mobility campaigns have on the local population. The plan also spotlights low-carbon mobility, road safety, vulnerable groups, smart mobility solutions, physical and mental well-being, accessibility and low pollution levels to ensure a holistic approach to mobility.

What does winning the Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) Award mean for Tampere?

Winning the SUMP Award is a great pride and joy! Our City’s development and work to promote sustainable mobility has really been recognised. The Tampere City Strategy introduces Tampere as ‘the city of action.’ Last year, 2021, is more than excellent proof of this: Our SUMP was accepted, and both new and improved possibilities for sustainable mobility were introduced.

The award, for its part, shows that we are on the right track and encourage us to go on with the implementation of measures and sustainability.

How does sustainable mobility fit into Tampere’s vision for a sustainable, resilient city?

It fits very well! The goal of carbon neutrality sets the target for the future modal split in Tampere. But sustainability goes far beyond only reducing emissions. The shift from individual motorised transport towards public and active mobility modes takes Tampere’s goals forward from the perspective of climate and environment, as well as safety, well-being, equality, and economy. Sustainable transport, both for people and freight, is also space-efficient, which is an import aspect for a growing city like Tampere.

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK recently launched a new slogan: #MixandMove. How does Tampere encourage multimodal approaches to transport? Why is this important?

Integrating different forms of mobility is crucial when we want to decrease emissions, shorter individual motorised trips and offer people more flexible access to mobility. Additionally, multimodality can also improve the cost-effectiveness of public transport especially in sparsely populated areas.

In Tampere, multimodality can take the form of city bikes, robos or e-scooters used to reach tram stops easily; a demand-based taxi brings someone to take a local train or a network of Park&Rides by truck line routes.

In addition to infrastructure and new services, mobility management is needed to change the mindset for new possibilities. Also, digital technologies and smart traffic management can play a significant role. Therefore, improving multimodality needs cooperation between the public sector and private providers.

Find out what Tampere has in store for this year’s campaign and learn more about what your town or city is doing, here.

An interview with Kassel, winner of the European Mobility Week Award for larger municipalities

28 June 2022

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK sat down with the 2021 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award for larger municipalities winner – Kassel - to learn about the City’s upcoming plans for sustainable mobility development and to collect advice for towns and cities looking to follow in its footsteps.

Creating sustainable urban environments requires improving how people get from A to B, and everywhere in between. The German City of Kassel understands the importance of implementing key changes in local transport to encourage a culture of sustainable mobility. In close collaboration with the District of Kassel and the municipal public transport company NVV, the City’s comprehensive efforts, which include installing road safety signs near schools, the renovation of busy streets to better promote cycling infrastructure, and the organisation of creative awareness-raising activities for children and adults, helped it capture the 2021 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award for larger municipalities at an award ceremony in Brussels this spring. Kassel then repeated its success at the German EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award ceremony, once again winning recognition for its sustainable mobility efforts.  

So what’s next for Kassel? How will the City continue to foster an inclusive sustainable mobility culture and develop measures that allow people to make more sustainable travel choices? EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK spoke with Christof Nolda, City Councilor and Head of the Department for Urban Development, Building, Environment and Transport, to learn more about what Kassel has in store.

What does winning the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award for larger municipalities mean for Kassel?

Winning the award meant recognition and tail wind for our approach. It confirmed that Cities, Districts and regional public transport companies can only benefit from joining forces. It assured us that we are on the right track in sensitising citizens on sustainable mobility. It obliged and encouraged us to continue on a path of transformation towards a more secure, joyful, liveable and sustainable region.

The sustainable mobility journey is one of constant adaptation and improvement. What exciting plans does Kassel have in store for the future?

We will build on the successes of last year and attempt to grow in depth and size, i.e. reaching out to even more citizens, cooperating with even more initiatives and becoming even more interactive. During the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, our key focus is on removing (mental) barriers and showcasing alternatives for sustainable mobility. Beyond that, in the next years will see infrastructure developments geared towards the mobility needs of humans – instead of cars.

What advice would you give for cities looking to follow in your footsteps and win the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award?

The more interactive and fun your approach, the better. We provided a number of low-threshold activities: Children proudly wore their self-painted high-visibility vests when walking to school. For people requiring a rollator, a dedicated "rollator training" lowered the barrier to use public transport. Meanwhile, a (cargo) bike trial day made mobility alternatives tangible. These activities were not expensive nor too complex to organise – even less so when you team-up with strong partners from administration, public transport and civil society.

Follow along to see what Kassel is planning for this year’s campaign and find out what your own town or city are doing for sustainable mobility, here.