Improving the accessibility of transport for people with disabilities, making streets safer for children, and expanding pedestrian areas; there are many ways cities can promote sustainable urban mobility for the benefit of their citizens. Ljubljana (Slovenia), Nantes (France) and Budapest (Hungary), respectively, introduced the three aforementioned measures, and they were part of the cities’ winning entries in previous EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards, an annual prize that recognises the local authority that has done the most to raise awareness of sustainable mobility during EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK.
This year 19 cities submitted over 50 applications for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award and amid strong competition, the city of Murcia (Spain) emerged as the winner. A local authority that has been busy initiating a number of sustainable measures, Murcia has encouraged people to travel on foot, reduced public transport fares, and increased the number of bicycle lanes and shared bicycle stands. The city also promoted sustainable alternatives to transporting goods, improved its road safety plan and created MUTRANS, a mobile app for bicycles and other transport.
During the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK itself – which takes place this year from 16-22 September - Murcia hosted a Car-Free Day and tested the planned pedestrianisation of one of the city’s main streets. Some 6000 people participated in the Car-Free Day events (see image). The city is also working towards improving dangerous mobility spots and improving travel conditions for people with reduced mobility. Little wonder that the Mediterranean city has received high praise.
Another, equally important, annual European sustainable mobility award is the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award. This accolade is for local authorities that develop a high-quality Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) that satisfies the diverse transport needs of people and businesses, while improving quality of life.
This winner of this year’s SUMP Award is Malmö (Sweden), a city that impressed the jury with an ambitious yet realistic vision of its mobility system. With a clear focus on improving sustainable transport modes, Malmö’s transport planning works with the overall urban planning process and takes into account commuter patterns and social factors, including accessibility for different social groups.
Plans for a tram network, encouraging walking, and developing cycling programmes are city’s answer to increased numbers of cars and a way to promote alternative and healthy travel. Additionally, Malmö’s approach focuses not only on passenger transport but also on the sustainable movement of goods (urban freight).
The European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc presented the representatives of both cities with their awards at a ceremony earlier this year. She said: ‘[The winners] demonstrate that innovation creates better and smarter mobility. The objective of urban transportation should be to return cities back to their people and I commend the intermodal transport solutions developed by Malmö and Murcia. I hope they will now inspire many other cities as the fight against climate change will be won or lost in urban areas.’
This topic of this year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, which takes part from 16-22 September, is 'Smart and sustainable mobility - an investment for Europe', referring to the close ties between transport and economics.
Registration is now open and cities looking to register should do so in good time by visiting mobilityweek.eu.
The theme of the next Sustainable Urban Mobility Award will be 'Freight in sustainable urban mobility planning'. The call for applications will open on 5 September and a webinar will take place on the same day to give more information to applicants.
For more information, visit mobilityweek.eu/