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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.

Towns and cities invited to register for Urban Mobility Days 2020

22 July 2020

Registration for Urban Mobility Days 2020, the European Commission’s first large-scale digital urban mobility conference, is now open. The event will take place online from 29 September-02 October under the theme of “zero-emission mobility for all“.

Leading figures from the world of mobility will gather to discuss urgent topics, including: What’s next for urban mobility in the EU? Is the EU a leader in the global urban mobility transition? In the wake of COVID-19, how can cities plan for resilient and sustainable urban mobility? How can MaaS contribute to zero-emission mobility? UVARs - where do we stand?

In addition to these and many other engaging discussions, the conference will feature presentations to discuss results and lessons learnt from various urban mobility projects.

Through its showcasing of leading success stories in the field, the event is also ideal for town and city representatives to learn how to turn the theme of the conference – "zero-emission mobility for all" – into reality.

Urban Mobility Days unites two flagship events in the urban mobility calendar – the CIVITAS Forum Conference and the European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

It represents a unique forum for interaction between policymakers, local authorities, academics, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), other mobility practitioners and those putting the SUMP concept into practice.

As mobility can no longer be regarded as merely moving from A to B, Urban Mobility Days will go beyond transport and link zero-emission mobility initiatives with wider EU efforts to tackle climate change and make Europe a carbon-neutral continent by 2050.

For more information, to view the latest programme, and to register to participate in the conference, click here.

European Commission launches public consultation on the future of transport

3 July 2020

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the future of transport to allow both stakeholders and citizens to comment and identify their priorities.

The consultation will be open until 23 September and will enable the Commission to better understand how the EU can help the sector become more sustainable and competitive, more modern and resilient to crises.

Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean said: “We are encouraging our citizens and stakeholders to take part in the public consultation. Mobility is a key priority and our new strategy aims at creating a crisis-proof transport system for us and for the generations to come. We shall start from recovery and build a solid structure on this foundation, fit both for the challenges and advantages of a more digital and green future.”

Transport and mobility play a vital role in the everyday lives of people and businesses. European transport policy is designed to meet their needs, as well as to address climate change and to capitalise on the benefits of digitisation.

In order to best achieve these multiple aims, the European Commission is working on a comprehensive Strategy for a Sustainable and Smart Mobility. The Strategy was announced as part of the European Green Deal, and is scheduled for release before the end of 2020. It will supersede the 2011 Transport White Paper as the European Commission’s vision for transport.

The consultation is available on the ‘Have your say’ portal where citizens and stakeholders are invited to log in and share their feedback and opinions. Access it here and make your voice heard.