EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK News

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European Commission presents plan for green, smart and affordable mobility

14 December 2020

On 9 December, the European Commission launched its Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy together with an Action Plan of 82 initiatives that will guide its work on mobility over the next four years.

The strategy shows how the EU transport system can become green, digital and more resilient to future crises. As outlined in the European Green Deal, the result will be a 90% cut in emissions by 2050, delivered by a smart, competitive, safe, accessible and affordable transport system.

Speaking about the strategy, Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean said: “As the backbone that connects European citizens and business, transport matters to us all. Digital technologies have the potential to revolutionise the way we move, making our mobility smarter, more efficient, and also greener. We need to provide businesses a stable framework for the green investments they will need to make over the coming decades. Through the implementation of this strategy, we will create a more efficient and resilient transport system, which is on a firm pathway to reduce emissions in line with our European Green Deal goals.

Some of the milestones and actions identified in the strategy include: helping 100 European cities reach climate neutrality by 2030; engaging with cities to ensure that all large and medium-sized cities that are urban nodes on the TEN-T network put in place their own sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) by 2030; and improving and expanding bicycle infrastructure.

The above – and more – will be further developed within a revised EU Urban Mobility Strategy, planned for summer 2021. It will be based on the results of the evaluation of the 2013 Urban Mobility Package, which is due to be published in early 2021.

To read the Strategy in full, click here.

An interview with Erdem Güney and Şeyma Kara, National Coordinators for Turkey

14 December 2020

What role do you both play in the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign?

As national coordinators, we are responsible for promoting EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Turkey, informing municipalities about the campaign, and supporting them with registration.

To meet this aim, we organised a EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK introductory meeting for local municipalities on 19 June. During the meeting, we provided participants with information about EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and answered their questions on registration.

Throughout the year, we were available 24/7 to address questions or problems from local municipalities, including information via e-mail, phone and face-to-face meetings.

In addition, we published a EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK booklet containing national and international good practice examples and contact information. We also prepared a registration guide in Turkish to help municipalities register for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

Turkey had a record-breaking year in 2020, with 551 towns and cities participating in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. In addition, Turkey registered the highest participation numbers overall, and the highest number of Car-Free Days. What caused this huge increase in participation compared with 2019?

This year, we prepared very well for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. In order to encourage our municipalities to register and participate in the campaign, we offered a free bicycle to municipalities that registered and signed up. In addition, we launched a website – hareketlilik.tbb.gov.tr – to share information with municipalities on registration and participation in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

We also organised a competition for ideas and projects in the area of bicycle transportation, to provide good solutions for municipalities. Within the scope of this competition, monetary support was provided to municipalities that put forward sustainable and permanent projects across two stages – idea and implementation.

In order to promote EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK among the general public, we made videos with ministers, mayors, and high-level representatives of public institutions, and shared these on social media.

Alongside the EU Delegation to Turkey, we organised many events promoting EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK to different municipalities. These included bicycle tours and live broadcasts, with the participation of metropolitan mayors, NGOs, and other relevant parties.

We also organised national EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards to identify and promote participating municipalities and share best practice examples.

One of the reasons a higher number of municipalities registered for Car-Free Day is because of the COVID-19 restrictions. As Car-Free Day celebrations are held on a single day, many municipalities were able to organise events with strict physical distancing that complied with COVID-19 restrictions.

What do you think Turkish cities and towns gain from taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK?

Turkish municipalities have become increasingly aware of sustainable transport thanks to EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. People in many municipalities were encouraged to use public transport, to cycle, walk, or try out different transport options such as scooters, especially during Car-Free Day and during the focal week of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

As a result of awareness-raising campaigns undertaken by municipalities and organisations in Turkey, such as the Turkish Union of Municipalities, and the EU Delegation to Turkey, people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of zero emission mobility. In turn, more Turkish municipalities are working to implement zero-emission public transport.

Did COVID-19 pose a challenge in getting towns and cities interested and engaged in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Turkey?

Unfortunately, some of our events were cancelled due to the pandemic, because some governorships had introduced curfews. As a result, many municipalities organised awareness-raising campaigns through social media. In addition, many activities, such as bicycle tours, were adapted to physical distancing requirements, with a smaller number of people allowed to participate.

What are your hopes for the 2021 campaign in Turkey?

First of all, we hope that Covid-19 will be under control by September 2021. Secondly, we started our work on EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK rather late in June 2020 due to pandemic restrictions. Therefore, we hope to start our work earlier in 2021.

Thanks to our successful work in 2020, more municipalities are aware of the importance of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. We hope to build on this success in 2021.

In addition, we plan to highlight the fact that municipalities can invest in campaign activities not only during the focal week of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, but also throughout the year by improving their permanent infrastructure.

European climate pact puts the spotlight on green mobility

11 December 2020

Earlier this week, the European Commission launched the European Climate Pact, an EU-wide initiative inviting people, communities and organisations to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe. As part of the European Green Deal, the Climate Pact offers a space for everyone to share information, debate and act on the climate crisis, and to be part of an ever-growing European climate movement.

The Pact provides a space for regions, local communities, industry, schools and civil society to share information about climate change and environmental degradation, and how they tackle these existential threats. Through an online platform and citizen dialogues and exchanges, it will foster the link between the digital and green transitions.

In the initial phase, the Pact will focus on four areas offering immediate benefits for the climate and the environment, and also for people’s health and wellbeing: green areas, green mobility, efficient buildings, and green skills.

The Pact’s scope will evolve based on the ideas and contributions of the people and organisations that become part of it.

An annual Climate Pact event will also bring participants together to share their experiences and knowledge, and to shape the Pact’s direction.

The Climate Pact aims to help spread scientifically sound information about climate action and provide practical advice for everyday life choices. It will support local initiatives and encourage climate action pledges by individuals or collectives, thereby helping to mobilise support for those pledges and participation in related climate actions.

The European Commission has also launched an open call inviting people and organisations to become Climate Pact Ambassadors. Climate Pact Ambassadors will lead by example and engage their communities in climate action.

For more information and to read the Climate Pact in full, click here.

Help us choose the most impressive MOBILITY ACTION of 2020

9 December 2020

This year, we received 900 MOBILITYACTIONs from businesses, schools, NGOs and other organisations across Europe. Five of those have been nominated for the title of Best MOBILITYACTION 2020, and now we need your help to choose our winner!

As of today, 9 December, we have posted each nominee on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The nominee with the most likes and shares by 12.00 CET (Brussels time) on 16 December will be declared the winner! The winner will be announced on 17 December 2020.

Now for the nominees…

Free your city! in Szeged (Hungary)
In order to encourage children to choose sustainable modes of transport, the City of Szeged has created an interactive game that highlights the problems associated with car traffic. Problems identified range from air and noise pollution, to space management. Through the game, children learn about the environmental impact of transport and how their choices can make a difference.

Facebook post | Twitter post | Instagram post
Organiser: City of Szeged

Hive.mobility: innovation centre for smart and green mobility, Groningen (The Netherlands)
Hive.mobility is an innovation centre in northern Netherlands, which works with local stakeholders to develop smart and green mobility solutions for passenger and freight transport.

Facebook post | Twitter post | Instagram post
Organiser: hive.mobility

'Promote Park + Ride' in Antwerp (Belgium)
In an attempt to reduce the number of cars travelling into the city of Antwerp over the weekend, Q-Park offers commuters a 50% discount on their park and ride facility. The facility is located close to the Antwerp Berchem train station and Antwerp ringroad. From there, commuters can travel into the city using public transport.

Facebook post | Twitter post | Instagram post
Organiser: Q-Park Belgium

'Kidical Mass Köln – Kids on the bike!' in Cologne (Germany)
‘Kidical Mass Köln’ follows along the same lines as ‘critical mass’ – a form of direct action whereby people gather together on a certain date and time in order to travel through their neighbourhood or city by bicycle.
Through their action, ‘Kidical Mass Köln’ hopes to highlight and campaign for child-friendly transport policies in the city. The action is open to residents of all ages.

Facebook post | Twitter post | Instagram post
Organiser: Kidical Mass Köln

'Optimised mobility at night' in Padua (Italy)
In order to meet a growing need for night time public transportation in the City of Padua, Padam Mobility developed technology to allow the city, in collaboration with the University of Padua, to roll-out a Demand-Responsive Transport (DRT) solution.
Padam mobility developed the algorithm behind the system, alongside user and driver apps, and helped to implement it in the city.

Facebook post | Twitter post | Instagram post
Organiser: Padam Mobility

Upcoming webinar to highlights best MOBILITY ACTIONs of 2020

3 December 2020

On Thursday 8 December, 14:00-15:00 CET, the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK secretariat will hold a webinar for businesses, NGOs, schools and other actors, including cities, highlighting the best MOBILITYACTIONs of 2020.

A MOBILITYACTION is any action that promotes the idea of sustainable urban mobility. It can be limited to a specific day or last for several weeks/months and can take place at any moment of the year, not just during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.

MOBILITYACTION’s promote a behavioural shift towards a more sustainable urban mobility culture and are of a promotional rather than a technical nature (i.e. technical innovations themselves will not be recognised), with examples including cycling to work with your neighbours, or if you’re an employer, taking concrete action to encourage your employees to use public transport.

During the webinar, participants will also gain tips on how to draft their own perfect MOBILITYACTION.

To register for the webinar, click here.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2020: promoting zero-emission mobility for all

16 September 2020

Watch out for car-free streets, walking tours, and interactive workshops as EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK (16-22 September) kicks off today in towns and cities across Europe.

The clean and sustainable transport campaign will see over 2,700 towns and cities from close to 50 countries host their own events, shining a spotlight on the importance of zero-emission mobility for all. This is the 19th year of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and its well-known car-free day, when streets close for motorised traffic and open for pedestrians, cyclists, hoverboarders, e-scooter riders and more!

EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean said: “This year is a big challenge for our towns and cities. But the pandemic also showed us that people appreciate and expect our cities to become safer, cleaner and accessible to all. During this week and beyond, our partner cities from all around Europe will show how greener and more digital European towns and cities could look.

In parallel, and in cooperation with EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, the European network of road traffic police forces (ROADPOL) is organising a new campaign for road safety – the ROADPOL Safety Days (previously ‘Project EDWARD’). As part of the campaign, national police forces will record the number of road deaths on 17 September, aiming for zero deaths on that day. Public events will highlight the role that every road-user can play in avoiding fatalities, as well as the importance of traffic police in enforcing the rules and working towards the EU’s ‘Vision Zero’ – zero road deaths and serious injuries on European roads by 2050.   

Initiatives across Europe

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK provides an opportunity for local governments across Europe (and beyond) to enable residents to test out active mobility modes and discover the benefits of sustainable forms of transport.

This year, Essen (Germany) will launch the city’s first sidewalk extension (or parklet), and will organise workshops on road safety and sustainable mobility, examining for example how local businesses can become bicycle-friendly employers. In addition, the city will launch a new e-charging station, and will install smart lamp posts.

Lahti (Finland) will celebrate the week with guided walking tours, workshops and seminars on the importance of sustainable mobility. A clean-up day will be organised, where residents are encouraged to get together clear litter from public areas around the city.

Cesena (Italy) will use the week as an opportunity to seek feedback from local residents on their new sustainable urban mobility plan. In addition, the city will invite children to submit photographs and drawings, illustrating their experience of commuting in the city.

Girona (Spain) will hand out a free breakfast to reward those who cycle to work. In addition, the city will organise guided walking tours, workshops on bicycle safety and maintenance, an exhibition on electric and hybrid vehicles, and a film screening on sustainable mobility.

Gdańsk (Poland) is arranging bicycle trips to local monuments and attractions. During car-free day, residents owning a car will be able to access public transport for free.

Participation

This year, in light of the pandemic, towns and cities have maximum flexibility when participating. Local authorities can register their events and permanent infrastructure initiatives as usual, but also their online alternatives and their short-term measures to help people move around safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures may include the temporary reallocation of road space to create pop-up bike lanes, or the introduction of speed restrictions.

Besides towns and cities, participation is warmly encouraged by others, including businesses, institutions, NGOs, schools and higher education institutions. All may register their MOBILITYACTION all year round.

Local authorities can apply for several awards in the context of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK:

  • EU Urban Road Safety Award, rewarding local authorities for innovative measures to improve road safety. The call for applications is open from 29 September to 31 October 2020.

  • EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards for local authorities that make significant efforts to promote sustainable urban mobility during the campaign. The application period is from 29 September to 31 October 2020.

  • SUMP Award presented to local and regional authorities that have achieved excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP). The deadline for applications is 31 October 2020.

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK Best Practice Guide 2020 released

11 September 2020

The 2020 edition of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Best Practice Guide features the outstanding achievements of the six local authorities that were selected as finalists for the 2019 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards.

Kruševac (Serbia) the winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for larger municipalities impressed the jury with its strong citizen participation and political support. During the week, the city installed new cycle paths, walkways, public squares,  urban parks,  benches, a public garage, and turned several traffic light junctions into roundabouts with greenery and sculptures.

Rethymno (Greece) and Wrocław (Poland) were the runners up for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for larger municipalities.

Karditsa (Greece) the winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for smaller municipalities organised a festival-like week of mobility celebrations, involving dozens of partners, including schools, music schools, government departments, police, firemen, associations and businesses. 

If the atmosphere alone wasn’t enough, new incentives like financial benefits for companies adopting sustainable mobility measures, and days off work for employees commuting by bicycle or on foot showed people that safe walking and cycling are appealing for reasons beyond health and wellbeing.

Alfândega da Fé (Portugal) and Paide (Estonia) were the runners up for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award for smaller municipalities.

The guide also includes a number of inspiring MOBILITYACTIONs organised by NGOs, universities and private organisations, alongside good examples of activities carried out by municipalities both in and outside of Europe, and best practice by the National Coordination teams in a number of countries.

To download and read the Best Practice Guide, visit the Campaign Materials page.

New EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK factsheet presents 10 lessons learnt during COVID-19 lockdown

29 July 2020

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has launched a new factsheet presenting towns and cities with 10 lessons learnt from the COVID-19 lockdown regarding better urban mobility.

The lessons vary from remembering that public space is precious and thus cities should be built for people, not cars; to the impact that working from home and buying goods online has on our environment and mobility patterns.

The document also provides towns and cities with creative suggestions of activities they could organise during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2020. For example, conducting polls among local residents to identify challenges and wishes for the use of public space and the way residents move, and organising a ‘selfie contest’ on social media to encourage locals to post pictures of themselves using environmentally-friendly transport options.

To read the full list of lessons learnt, and to take inspiration from the examples provided, click here.

An interview with Brussels Capital Region, winner of the 8th SUMP Award

28 July 2020

Bruno Van Loveren, Strategy and Programming Director, Mobility Planning Authority, Brussels Capital Region (Belgium) spoke to us about winning the 8th sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP) Award, what it means to the city, and shares advice he would give to other cities looking to follow in their footsteps.


What has the reaction been among citizens and stakeholders to the Brussels Capital Region winning the SUMP award? What does winning the SUMP Award mean to the city?

Unfortunately, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated containment, it is difficult to describe whether a buzz, if there was one, happened. We were all isolated and everything took place remotely - even the announcement of the award itself took place online and we followed it on Twitter.

We would have preferred to receive the award at the ceremony, as it was originally planned - it would have been an opportunity to exchange with the other finalists. However, we received numerous messages of congratulations from many different sectors, including the political world. 

We are obviously very proud to have received this award, especially since we also won it three years ago for our logistics schemes. For those of us who work in the planning department, it's a great reward and confirmation that our approach is relevant and recognised as such.

This is in fact the third SUMP that has been developed for Brussels. The results of the first two are mixed, without taking away their quality. We were all convinced that this one was different and is going to change things - this award is a nice validation of that.


Can you tell us a little bit about the process of designing your SUMP? What was it, do you think, that appealed to the Jury?

I would like to quote the words of the jury, which underline the way our SUMP conceives the city as an ecosystem, and the impressive participation system that has been put in place. These two elements, in my opinion, are intimately linked. It is through involving all stakeholders and listening to citizens that we have been able to gradually take into account all the dimensions of the mobility policy.

The system put in place is in fact unprecedented, at least for Brussels, in terms of its scope, its duration and the diversity of the public that we wanted to involve in the approach. It is this process itself that has led us to put aside an overly technical approach to mobility and to refocus on users, their needs, and above all their living environment.

This participatory approach is a key to the success of SUMP and, we hope to its implementation. The overwhelming majority of stakeholders recognise the value of the process, that they were able to express themselves and that they were heard, even if they do not always agree with some of the measures.


What advice would you give to cities that are looking to follow in your footsteps and win the SUMP Award?

Every city and region is different and I do not know to what extent Brussels can be an example. We are in any case open and interested in exchanging with other cities in a more in-depth way. It is also an opportunity to talk about what we have done wrong, which I am not going to discuss here, as after all we just won the SUMP Award!

If I had to give some general advice, first of all I would say that this is a long-term process - more than three years as far as we are concerned, which has to be prepared accordingly. As with all projects that take a long time, we must also accept that there will be changes along the way. The SUMP Guidelines developed by the European Commission are an interesting resource from this point of view. Of course, I say this when we ourselves did not take them into account at all, or rather, when we found out a posteriori that we had unknowingly followed them.

Finally, in order to make a process of this magnitude successful, objectives and a clear guideline are needed. From this point of view, political support, which can be limited to a simple lack of interference, is absolutely essential.

Kruševac, Karditsa and Brussels celebrated in new EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK videos

24 July 2020

Three new videos have been launched showcasing the sustainable mobility activities of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK award winners for 2019, and the winner of the 8th SUMP award. The videos were filmed on location in Kruševac (Serbia), Karditsa (Greece), and Brussels (Belgium) and feature interviews with key mobility experts within the municipalities.

The videos outline how the award-winning cities are working to make sustainable mobility the number one choice for citizens in their respective cities.

Mayor of Kruševac, Jasmina Palurovic, highlights the infrastructural changes the city has made to support an increase in walking and cycling. While, Vasilios Tsiakos, Mayor of Karditsa, discusses why the City considers it important to promote active mobility, and how they are encouraging their residents to make the modal shift from car to bicycle.

Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, responsible for Mobility, Public Works and Road Safety, Elke Van den Brandt, outlines the mobility challenges the city faces and how their ‘good move’ strategy seeks to overcome them.

Through these videos, viewers are granted a look at the innovative activities and measures that led these cities to win the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and SUMP Awards.

To view the video on Kruševac, click here.

To view the video on Karditsa, click here.

To view the video on Brussels, click here.