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New fact sheets from across Europe share best practice knowledge on Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning

20 December 2019

A new series of fact sheets chronicling good practice examples of measures, instruments and planning procedures related to Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) are now available.

Fact sheets draw on the expereinces of Birmingham (United Kingdom), Budapest (Hungary), Donostia-San Sebastian (Spain), Malmö (Sweden), Sofia (Bulgaria), Thessaloniki (Greece), and Turin (Italy).

In Birmingham, fact sheets examine lessons learnt from the implementation of a Clean Air Zone and a new road space allocation policy. In Budapest, the documents look at interactive two-way communication with decision makers and an integrated transportation demand management framework for road users, whilst in Malmö readers can learn about a new travel survey technique, regional cooperation to develop a "poly-centric" SUMP, and the city’s advanced model for forecasting traffic.

Other fact sheets further examine topics such as a data collection and exchange platform, sustainable urban freight logistics measures, flexible use of spaces, and using interactive maps for cycling and walking.

Fact sheets were designed and shared through the SUMPs-Up project – each of the cities profiled is a partner in the project. The good practices overviewed aim to encourage and support the uptake of sustainable urban mobility planning across Europe.

See all fact sheets here, and click here for more information on the SUMPs-Up project.

Trelleborg’s EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK activities inspire one family to shift from car to cargo bicycle

16 December 2019

During this year’s edition of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, the Municipality of Trelleborg (Sweden) launched an innovative project where they offered local residents the opportunity to test an electric cargo bicycle for up to 11 days, in the hope that this would then encourage them to make the shift from car to cargo bicycle.

In this article, we correspond with Christoffer Pettersson-Hernestig from the Sustainable Development Department of the Municipality of Trelleborg, who tells us more about the municipality’s sustainable mobility policies and plans, and what inspired this project. We also speak with Anna, a resident of Trelleborg who, alongside her family, made the decision to switch from car to cargo bicycle as a result of the pilot project. She tells us about what inspired this decision, and how the shift has affected her and her family.

Christoffer, can you tell us about what mobility is like in the Municipality of Trelleborg?
If we look at 2018 statistics, we can see that the most popular mode of transport in our municipality is the car. In fact, 67.5 percent of all trips are made by car, with the remaining 32.5 percent being taken by sustainable modes of transport – cycling is the most popular of these modes at 9.7 percent, followed by walking (8.4 percent), taking the train (8.3 percent), and finally traveling by bus (5 percent).

We have a long history of working on sustainable mobility projects here in Trelleborg and have a number of ambitious policies and plans in place. Of particular note are our municipal Bicycle strategy and Bicycle plan, through which we have set ourselves the aims of becoming the third-best bicycle municipality in the region, and increasing children’s bicycle usage by the end of December 2020.

In order to increase bicycle usage among children in the municipality, we have initiated a programme called “Safe School Trips”. The programme consists of twenty activities and a mixture of initiatives, which aim to make children’s trips to schools safer.

This year, during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK the Municipality of Trelleborg offered residents the chance to test electric cargo bicycles – tell us more about the project and where the idea came from.
We recently carried out a survey among local residents to gauge their interest in electric cargo bicycles. What we discovered was that the vast majority of respondents were interested in them, but found them too expensive and this deterred them from buying one.

Inspired by a similar service offered in Helsingborg (Sweden), which allows residents to rent electric bicycles for free, we set about creating a pilot project enabling residents of Trelleborg to test out an electric cargo bicycle free of charge for a maximum of 11 days, in the hope that this would motivate them to make the long-term shift from car to cargo bicycle.

First, we travelled to Helsingborg to find out more about how their system works and in particular their e-service booking system, so that we could bring this knowledge back to Trelleborg.

We then worked with our e-service provider to set up a booking system, and worked with the local library, who agreed to take on the responsibility of managing lending the cargo bicycle to users.

We launched the service on 16 September 2019, during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, with one electric cargo bicycle available to loan. Within the first week of operation, six users had already booked the cargo bicycle, and by the end of week two, all of the available slots for 2019 had been booked.

So far, the project has already motivated one user to make the shift from car to cargo bicycle!

Inspired by the success already seen, the Municipality has planned to expand the service, and hope to soon offer two more cargo bicycles for local residents to borrow.

One of the residents who was motivated to make the change from car to cargo bicycle thanks to the pilot is Anna Loontjens. We also corresponded with her to find out more about what inspired her and her family to make the shift from car to cargo bicycle, and to see what impact it has had on their lives.

Anna, what motivated you and your family to participate in this project?
I had been really interested in buying an electric cargo bicycle for some time, as I hoped it would facilitate getting around with my daughter – my 14-year-old daughter has several disabilities and finds it difficult to walk for long periods.

I thought an electric cargo bicycle would be a good option for us, as it is something between a wheelchair and a car. With a wheelchair you don’t really cover a lot of ground, and going by car you don’t get the fresh air and the outside experience. Plus, the damage to the environment was a really concerning factor for me.

However, as my daughter is also autistic, adapting to change can be difficult for her, and if she doesn’t like something, there is absolutely no way of convincing her of it. This, alongside the cost of buying an electric bicycle, deterred me from buying one out-right.

When my husband, who heard about the project through Facebook, first told me about it, I thought it sounded exciting, as it was the perfect way to test whether or not my daughter would enjoy traveling by electric cargo bicycle before investing in buying one.

After participating in the project, you and your family then decided to switch from car to electric cargo bicycle. What motivated this switch?

Since I work from home, I don’t necessarily have to leave my house every day, so I knew I needed to get outside more to get more fresh air and just be outdoors. When I borrowed the bicycle I realised how easy it was to use. I didn’t have to worry about parking, I didn’t have to worry about buying petrol or diesel, I got fresh air, exercise and I really felt I was doing something positive for the environment every time I travelled by bicycle instead of by car.

Doing groceries was no trouble at all. It took just as long as by going by car, I timed it. But the most important thing was how much my daughter loved it. She saw it as an adventure and was looking forward to travelling by bicycle every morning during the school run. My son also goes by bicycle to school, so it was fun going together and showing him that you don’t need a car – that going by bicycle is a good choice even for grownups. I felt I was setting a good example for him as well.

I bought my own electric cargo bicycle even before the 11 days were over, so I wouldn’t have to wait for it when I returned the borrowed one. I also did this to ensure we had time to make some alterations to it, so that my daughter could more easily get into it.

If you were to encourage others to switch to using an electric cargo bicycle, what would you say?
I often say that everybody can do something for the environment. I can’t do everything, but I can do this. As long as weather allows it – a little bit of rain doesn’t stop us – and it is only me, or me and my daughter and we need to go somewhere in the city, we take the bicycle. It’s more enjoyable, we feel healthier and knowing we’re not polluting gives me a really good feeling.

The cost of the bicycle is paid off within a couple of years if you look at the gas money you’re saving. I ride the bicycle on average about 10km a day, over two or three trips. Sometimes we go for longer rides just to get out and feel the air. I really love the bicycle – it’s easy, it’s fun and it is the best purchase I’ve made in a long time. I really got myself the best gift.

And, Christoffer, If you were to encourage other town's or city's to participate in the campaign next year, what would you say?
If you look at a municipality as an organisation, there are many departments, a lot of which work in some way with mobility or traffic, or both. I would recommend to other cities, towns, municipalities and regions that they invite all key personnel who work in these fields in their organisations to come together during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and compile all their activities in order to show citizens what’s happening in their city.

We had fun planning our EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign. It was a push for us and made it possible to get a forum and to kick-start a discussion about mobility among different departments.

To learn more about EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and the activities carried out by the towns and cities who participated in the 2019 campaign, click here.

Participation Report analyses EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2019

13 December 2019

The 2019 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Participation Report has been released, providing a statistical overview of the year’s campaign. The report identifies participation rates in each country, allowing the reader to see participation trends over the past decade. The report concludes with an analysis of the statistics provided, contextualising the data and offering advice to ensure the campaign continues to succeed.

With 3,135 towns and cities participating from 50 countries, 2019 proved to be the most successful edition of the campaign yet. As in previous years, Spain, Austria, and Hungary were among the top three countries in terms of participation. The top spot went to Spain this year, registering an additional 89 cities in comparison to last year. The second and third spots went to Austria and Hungary respectively.

Besides these three, there were some remarkable showings from elsewhere, with Russia doubling its participation figures from 132 in 2018 to 264 in 2019. There were also marked improvements in participation levels over last year in several countries, including Poland (+42), Turkey (+38), Germany (+27), Greece (+24), Portugal (+13), Belarus (+12), the United Kingdom (+9), and Sweden (+9).

Overall, 17 countries broke previous records, a figure that includes two newcomers to the campaign, and 22 countries improved upon or equalled last year’s participation figures.

In addition, this year’s campaign saw an increase in the number of towns and cities organising Car-Free Day activities, with 1,374 events organised, and increases in the number of permanent mobility measures, with 15,613 permanent measures being implemented - a huge increase of 6,765 from last year and the highest since we began monitoring seven years ago.

Campaign highlights from across the world are displayed on pg.34 of the report, giving the reader a selection of good examples to draw on.

To view the report, click here.

Help us choose the most impressive MOBILITY ACTION of 2019

9 December 2019

This year, we received a record 1,028 MOBILITYACTIONs from businesses, schools, NGOs and other organisations across Europe. Five of those have been nominated for the title of Best MOBILITYACTION 2019, and now we need your help to choose our winner!

Every morning this week at 10.00AM CET, we will profile a nominee through our social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To win the competition, the nominee needs to get the highest number of points overall.

How to win points?
Each day we will promote one nominee through our social media accounts. The post will be online from 10.00 AM CET and voting stops the following day at 10.00 AM CET. Every like, retweet/share, and comment generated during this 24-hour period will count as one point. These points will account for 50 percent of the overall vote.

From 16 December-20 December, we will launch a poll through Facebook and Twitter, where followers will be invited to vote for their favourite entry. This will account for the remaining 50 percent of the vote. Polls will close on 20 December at 12.00 PM CET.

The points from the social media posts and the polls will be then added together and the nominee who secures the highest number of points overall will be declared the winner!

The winning MOBILITYACTION will be invited to join us in March 2019 for our sustainable mobility workshops.

Now for the nominees…

Literary Competition on the Theme "Walk to the end of the city" (Bulgaria)
The Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water in Plovdiv organised a literary competition under the theme "Walk to the end of the city." Participants of all ages with an interest in literature and the environment were invited to participate, submitting a piece of literature that focused on the theme. Submissions focused on walking, highlighting the health, environmental, social and emotional benefits associated with it, were particularly sought out.

Organiser: Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Plovdiv

Mobility café: Biciculture Friday (Portugal)
On 20 September 2019, the Parish Council of Olivais hosted the event “Biciculture Friday” at its Culture House. During the event, the Parish launched their "Cycling to work" guide and held a debate on EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK’s theme "Safe walking and cycling." At the end of the day, there was a night bike ride around the parish with the participants.

Organiser: Junta de Freguesia de Olivais

European Mobility Week: Going for Zero Traffic Victims (The Netherlands)
The mobility department of the Province of Zuid-Holland organised a road safety awareness week under the title of ‘Going for zero traffic victims’. During the week, a number of awareness raising events and activities were organised, including: courses on cycling safety and the safe use of e-bikes, a campaign encouraging children to walk to school, and several workshops on the importance of road safety.

Organiser: ROV-ZH

Parklet2go - Pedal-powered placemaking (Austria)

PARKLET 2 GO is an urbanistic tool for testing, evaluating and discussing the transformation of specific (parking) spaces in an effective and informal way. PARKLET 2 GO is used for the temporary installation in parking lots and public spaces in general. The aim of PARKLET 2 GO is to carry out various spatial experiments and activating interventions in public space.

Organiser: Smarter Than Car

A human chain to demand a optimal pedestrian crosswalk (Spain)

Volunteers from NGO Andando Burgos highlighted the need for a new, direct and shorter crosswalk at one of the main access points to the pedestrian zone in the city center, as a symbol of a new approach to the design of our crosswalks and streets. Thinking about pedestrians' needs, they did this by forming human chains on either side of the location of the new potential crosswalk.

Organiser: Andando Burgos

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK 2019 sees increase in participation in the Western Balkans

2 December 2019

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign enjoyed continued success this year, with participation rates in regions including the Western Balkans increasing. In 2018, a total of 58 towns and cities from the region participated in the campaign; this year that number increased to 75.

In addition, in 2018, 14 MOBILITYACTIONs from the Western Balkans were registered during the campaign. This year the figure more than doubled, with 33 actions registered.

A recent article produced by Balkan Green Energy News profiles this success and outlines some of the activities that took place as part of the week. For example, in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), the Minister of Transport of the Canton Sarajevo, Adnan Šteta, presented a road safety project in schools. In Priština (Kosovo) a walking campaign was organised, while in Skopje (Republic of North Macedonia), a cycling parade, a velo picnic, and several workshops on the use of electric vehicles were organised. And, Tirana (Albania) hosted a bike show, and launched a new public transport map, which details bicycle lanes, as well as street codes and rules in the city.

One of the activities held during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK was an online conference for Mayors from the region, which allowed them to share their urban mobility experiences and challenges.

Among the Mayors participating in the event was Milan Trivić, Deputy Mayor of Sarajevo, who said: “The City of Sarajevo wants to use EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK as an incentive to speed up achieving the goals that will, as soon as possible, define our city as a Smart City. The city is grateful to the individuals, enthusiasts and organisations who were the first to join in and initiate this campaign.”

To learn more about all the towns and cities who participated in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and the activities they organised, click here.