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.