News Search Result ( 1 - 3 from 3 )

EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK workshops see participants play detective

27 March 2019

The 2019 EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK workshops, which ran from 21-22 March, began with a dramatic announcement: the campaign mascot, Edgar, had been kidnapped and it was up to the participants to find his whereabouts.

Temporarily cast as detectives, the workshop attendees were given a number to call to hear a voicemail from the terrified mascot, who informed listeners about the time he was taken and the location he was last at. A series of mobility related clues were presented, with participants tasked with determining which suspect could have been at the scene of the crime at the time of the kidnapping based on their mode of transport.

Eventually the culprit was identified, a code to a locked room was found, and Edgar was retrieved. Bounding into the room, Edgar displayed a wide-smile despite his traumatic morning - perhaps from the relief of freedom.

With the mascot safe and sound – and the ice-breaker “escape room” activity completed – the workshops kicked-off in earnest, with an address from Maja Bakran Marcich, Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission. Professor Shane O'Mara, Professor of Experimental Brain Research at Trinity College Dublin, provided the keynote address, outlining compelling evidence that walking is not only good for physical health, but also important for cognitive performance and mental wellness.

Participants were then split into smaller groups to discuss ways to promote walking and cycling. A study tour was organised to the nearby Boulevard Anspach extension to Brussels’ 50-hectare pedestrian area, the second largest in Europe, leaving everyone impressed with the Belgian capital’s achievements in promoting a more sustainable mobility culture.

The City of Vienna's Petra Jens, one of Europe's few Walking Commissioners, led a networking session on ways to promote walking during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2019. Ms Jens provided invaluable advice and tips on improving the public perception of going by foot in urban areas.

Following the first day of the workshops, participants took part in the sustainable mobility awards ceremony, which saw Lisbon (EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2018 for larger municipalities), Lindau (EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2018 for smaller municipalities), and Greater Manchester (7th SUMP Award) announced as winners (for more information on the awards, click here).

Across the two days, participants were also treated to presentations on EU awards aimed at cities, EU initiatives such as Project EDWARD and the European Week of Sport, and the results of a pilot project that aimed to raise awareness of alternatives to the private car in a number of European cities. Stanley Black and Decker, the winner of the 2018 MOBILITYACTION award, also presented their activities to promote sustainable mobility among their employees.

The second day kicked-off with a quiz, testing the sustainable mobility knowledge of the assembled participants. The quiz provided a humorous way to start the morning, setting a positive tone for the day to come. Breakout sessions on the second day included a seminar on active communication for active mobility, and safety as it relates to walking and cycling. Whilst the workshop activities ran, a side-event was held on the validation of Guidance for EU Cycling Projects.

The workshops concluded with a meeting reserved for National Coordinators, during which plans for the 2019 edition of the campaign were discussed.

Jerome Simpson reflects on his role in the EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK campaign

26 March 2019

In this interview Jerome Simpson, who has been closely involved in running EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK since 2011, discusses highlights and successes over the last eight years, the appeal EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK has for cities, and his vision for the future of sustainable urban transport in Europe.

1. You started working on the campaign in 2011. Can you tell us about your role and what working on the campaign has meant to you? 

My organization, REC, was invited to be part of the team following several successful years serving as part of the CIVITAS Secretariat. The aim was to strengthen the ties between DG MOVE’s CIVITAS Initiative for ‘Cleaner and Better Transport in Cities,’ and EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, which was then overseen by DG Environment. More specifically, we took over responsibility for its national coordinators’ network. Checking my notes from my first year, we had about 19 active coordinators. Today, it is double that number.

Without doubt, that network and the convivial, family spirit that endures means the team has achieved great things in the last few years. And that’s not least thanks to the fact we could bring it together regularly to exchange ideas and experience. The national coordinators could see they are not alone in what they do.

2. What is it about EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK that makes it so appealing to cities in your opinion?

It’s not heavy on the academic or theoretical side. Conversely, it’s a celebration which means city coordinators with a communications background can feel at home in setting up dialogues with local residents on mobility matters, campaigning for healthier, car-free lifestyles, while mobility measures like bike infrastructure bring tangible, visible improvement which is media-friendly. At the same time, people are becoming more aware of the need to change their travel habits thanks to everything from shared bikes and scooters on the streets to mobile apps and journey planners in their pockets. On the other hand, the campaign is an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity across the European Union because the week’s dates are the same in every country.

3. What are your favourite memories from working on the campaign? 

Building up and maintaining a thriving coordinators’ network has been my main task and so that is one. Germany was a real tough nut to crack but perseverance paid off when finally, in 2014, Umweltbundesamt (the German environment agency) agreed to take on the campaign. I’ll never forget sitting in its Berlin office with a pile of CVs in front of us knowing that a coordinator’s appointment was a few weeks off. Now we see participation levels back up to where they were in 2010. I also fondly recall holidaying in Iceland that year, and at the tail end of the trip, dropping in to visit our national coordinator at the environment ministry. A personal touch makes a difference and Bergthora Gudmundsdottir has been a regular at our meetings since then. It’s also been rewarding to see the campaign supported by UNDP in four countries, and to see it take on a more visible position at the CIVITAS Initiative’s annual forum conference. We hosted two great EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK sessions in recent years – a trend I hope will long continue. And of course, I can’t help but mention three consecutive record years in terms of participation.

4. What do you see as the future of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK? What do you see as the future of sustainable urban transport in Europe?

The campaign can look forward to a bright future because there’s still so much to be done. Just look at the kids skipping class world-wide as they campaign for more to be done to cut greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, I’ve always felt that we’re barely scratching the surface when it comes to engaging Europe’s towns and smaller municipalities. Austria shows us how it can be done and I was excited to hear Turkey, whose coordinator was appointed last year, commit themselves to better the Austrians!

As for the future of sustainable transport, innovation continues to drive development. Last year we had an Icelandic grocery store chain register as a MOBILITYACTION its use of Israeli-designed drones to deliver orders. Vehicle automation offers the promise of cars that actually respect speed limits. The sharing economy now means city dwellers really don’t need to own a car, while the advent of mobility service providers and transportation network companies means there are an increasing variety of first- and last-mile solutions available at the touch of a button. E-Bikes are taking the sweat out of long-distance or freight-based rides. And there’s much more still to be made of telecommuting.

So while there’s plenty of work ahead, there are myriad solutions on the table. Therefore, I am happy, after REC’s positive contribution to EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, to have the chance to continue in the sector and walk through doorways that the campaign helps to push open.

In March 2019, Jerome Simpson joined MaaS service provider nextbike, a tech-savvy market leader and restless pioneer in shared bicycle mobility, whether dock-based, free-floating or hybrid in nature. Boasting a lifestyle choice in 27 countries in 200 cities worldwide, together with the international business development team, Jerome is responsible for leveraging new European business to government projects. He can be reached via email at:

Lisbon, Lindau and Greater Manchester win European sustainable mobility awards

22 March 2019

The European Commission announced the winners of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards 2018 and the 7th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) at a ceremony in Brussels (Belgium) last night.

Lisbon (Portugal) was revealed as the winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2018 for larger municipalities, with Lindau (Germany) taking home the award for smaller municipalities. The 7th SUMP Award was won by Greater Manchester (United Kingdom). The awards were presented to the cities by Commissioner Violeta Bulc, responsible for Transport, and Jürgen Müller, Head of Cabinet for Karmenu Vella, the Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “I would like to sincerely congratulate the winning cities, all of whom carried out inspiring activities to promote sustainable urban mobility. They are true examples of how local leaders across Europe are combining different modes of transport as a means to make our cities cleaner, safer and more sustainable. This year I am looking forward to seeing more such impressive actions from towns and cities joining the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign as they celebrate under the theme of ‘Walk with us’.”

Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: “Europe’s cities face numerous challenges, from poor air quality to climate change. Today’s winners show that the way we move about our city matters, and that bold decisions encouraging sustainable transport can help us tackle major issues like air pollution and climate change. I commend these winners, as I do all cities that are embracing sustainable mobility.”

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards recognise local authorities judged to have organised the most impressive set of activities between 16-22 September. The awards are given out in two categories: one for municipalities with over 50 000 inhabitants, and one for smaller municipalities below this threshold.

The SUMP Award celebrates local and regional authorities for excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning. The 7th SUMP Award focused on multimodality, which is defined as the use of different modes of passenger or freight transport during the same journey, or for different trips. The winning cities were selected by an independent panel of mobility and transport experts and will now each have a promotional video made, highlighting their achievements. The Spanish city of Palencia was additionally named the winner of the 2018 Social Biking Challenge, a European Commission initiative that aims to encourage cycling as a sustainable and healthy mobility choice.

Learn more about the winners:

Lisbon, Portugal – winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2018 for larger municipalities

The Portuguese capital, home to over half a million people, impressed the jury with its strong vision for a more sustainable mobility culture. During EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2018, residents could take their bike on board a train for free, giving them a real incentive to try out multimodality. The city also organised museum bike trips, free bicycle repair workshops, and a special prize for people and organisations that promoted the use of bikes. These activities complemented the inauguration of 31 new bike-sharing stations, new and expanded bike lanes, and 800 new bike parking areas. The city also carried out an effective communications campaign, managing to reach both residents and visitors.

The other finalists were Gdynia (Poland) and Palma (Spain).

Lindau, Germany – winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2018 for smaller municipalities

The German city of Lindau placed significant emphasis on multimodality, the theme of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2018. To communicate the benefits of ‘mixing and moving’, on-street info points were set up where people could learn about making smarter mobility choices. On Car-Free Day, a free hybrid shuttle bus and water taxi were provided, in addition to residents gaining free access to the newly expanded car-sharing service. Commuters were also pleasantly surprised with a breakfast courtesy of the city when they travelled by bike, foot, bus or train. Lindau recently installed almost 500 new bike racks at train stations and bus stops, making it easier to cycle to and from public transport. The city has also launched a new multimodal mobility app that enables users to plan a route using different transport modes.

Karditsa (Greece) and Oliveira do Bairro (Portugal) were the runners up.

Greater Manchester, United Kingdom - winner of the 7th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning

Greater Manchester has set ambitious multimodality goals, which it intends to reach using a wide-range of integrated and combined mobility options. The jury was particularly impressed by Greater Manchester’s use of smart, new technologies to increase the share of journeys made using sustainable modes of transport. As part of its mobility planning approach, Manchester considers each part of the city individually, according to its size, location and function. Measures are then adapted to the needs of the area.

Basel (Switzerland) and Dresden (Germany) were fellow finalists for the 7th edition of the SUMP Award.