Around 3,000 towns and cities from approximately 50 countries around the world have been celebrating EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK this week, between 16 - 22 September. During this period thousands of activities have been held promoting walking, cycling, public transport and eco-friendly transport options. The pinnacle of this celebration was World Car-Free Day, traditionally celebrated on 22 September. On this day many urban areas were temporarily closed to motorised traffic, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to make use of this public space. This also served as an occasion for cities to test new pedestrian areas and to measure noise/pollution levels.
The European Commission adopts a new theme each year as part of this flagship awareness-raising campaign, shining a spotlight on a specific facet of sustainable mobility. The theme this year was ‘Save Energy’, highlighting the impact that sustainable transport choices have on climate objectives as well as on energy conservation and disparities within access to mobility. This is extremely relevant in the context of Russia’s ongoing unwarranted aggression towards Ukraine.
Adina Vălean, European Transport Commissioner, has emphasised the key role for sustainable mobility in creating a better future for all:
"Cities may only occupy 4% of EU land area, but 75% of EU citizens call them home. By transitioning to more sustainable and efficient mobility solutions, the cities can make a difference for their inhabitants and those beyond - be it in terms of less pollution, and better connectivity for all. As many as 3,000 cities take part in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK this year and they are living proof of their power to change things.”
In addition to towns and cities, various organisations, schools and businesses also took part in the event, registering their MOBILITYACTIONS (defined as any action that promotes a behavioural shift towards engendering a culture of sustainable mobility). All registered MOBILITYACTIONS for 2023 can be viewed here.
In Cartagena, Spain, a week-long series of events included an urban march through the city, a bicycle tour via greenways and bicycle repair and safe cycling workshops.
Umeå in Sweden promoted new infrastructure facilitating pedestrian and cyclist movement throughout the city. The municipality also organised a ‘Ticket Hunt’, hiding free bus tickets around local bus stops with clues shared via social media.
One of the Ukrainian cities previously recognised with a Special Mention in 2022, Poltava, offered cyclists free access to local museums throughout the week and organised a walking tour with local police to share tips on staying safe while crossing the city at night. Poltava also created permanent infrastructure by adopting traffic-calming schemes and cutting the number of on-street parking spaces.
To find out what your town or city had in store click the link here.
For more information on the campaign in general, click the link here.
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