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Poland's record participation shows true extent of Mobility Week activities

10 October 2017

An interview with Maria Perkuszewska, National Coordinator for Poland

1. Poland saw a massive increase in the number of towns and cities taking part this year, going from 30 registered in 2016 to 105 this year. How was this increase achieved?

When I became a National Coordinator for Poland earlier this year, I was first and foremost surprised by the small number of Polish participants, and convinced that this number can be easily increased. Polish municipalities are very active when it comes to sustainable transport development and are involved in a variety of initiatives.

It appeared that every year a large number of Polish cities took part in the week, organising events promoting public transport and so on, but they simply never registered at

My team and I focused on identifying those municipalities that organise transport events in September but never registered. We asked regional administrations for help and were able to organise several regional info days, during which cities could familiarise themselves with the idea of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and the registration process. It seems that personal contact is essential here – we achieved the best results with direct phone calls and personalised e-mails.

2. What have been the main challenges that you faced in getting cities interested and engaged in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Poland?

The biggest challenge was to identify municipalities that organise EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK activities and then convince them to register. I’m sure there is still a lot ahead of us, more cities to get in contact with. I’ve already started to plan the 2018 campaign and we will put more emphasis on regional cooperation, direct contact and spreading the information. I’m convinced that Polish cities will only improve in coming years.

3. What do you think Polish cities and towns gain from taking part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK?

Sustainable urban mobility is nowadays not an option – it is a necessity. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK enables local authorities not only to focus for a few days on sustainable transport, but also on communicating important messages to their community.

It is important to mention that such initiatives can be a good opportunity for communities to get involved and do something together. In my opinion, the biggest potential is in smaller towns.

There are a lot of good examples of that, but one of my favourite examples is from Gorlice, a small city of less than 30,000 inhabitants from southern Poland. They organised a very interesting programme of activities and created one of my favourite photos from the week, involving local school kids (see the cover photo!)

It is obvious that taking part in such a broad initiative is rewarding in itself, not to mention that being part of a world-wide Mobility Week family is a great feeling!