EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2023 has broken previous participation records for the campaign! This year 3,351 towns and cities from across 45 countries in Europe and beyond took part during the main event week from 16–22 September. A total of 1515 MOBILITYACTIONS have also been registered in 52 countries.
EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is the European Commission’s flagship awareness-raising campaign, aiming to promote sustainable urban mobility. The campaign covers topics from behavioural change in favour of active mobility, to expanding public transport and implementing clean and intelligent transport solutions. It is an opportunity for cities and towns to try out innovative solutions to improve their mobility structures.
Each year the European commission adopts a new theme as part of their campaign. The theme this year was ‘Save Energy’ to highlight the impact that transport choices can have on climate objectives, energy costs, and the disparities that exist regarding access to mobility; and to reduce dependency on Russian oil following Russia's unwarranted invasion of Ukraine. The initiative saw over 3,000 towns and cities get involved with a diverse range of actions, from Catagena’s (Spain) week-long series of events including an urban march, to Umeå’s (Sweden) promotion of their new infrastructure facilitating pedestrian and cyclist movements throughout the city. Various organisations, schools, and businesses also took part.
The pinnacle of the celebration was World Car-Free day, on 22 September. On this day cities across Europe, including Brussels, temporarily closed their urban areas to motorised traffic, allowing pedestrians and cyclists to roam. This served as an occasion for cities to test out new pedestrian areas while spreading awareness of the benefits and importance of reallocating space towards active mobility and public transport services. Reducing the number of motorised vehicles is an important step towards reducing the health impacts attributed to emissions, noise levels and traffic, while also having a positive impact on the planet. Highlights from the campaign include Tartu (Estonia) trialling a car-free month, and Paris developing their ‘Paris breathes’ campaign which saw the closure of neighbourhoods to cars on Sundays and holidays.
Why wait until 22 September when you can organise a Car-Free Day/Weekend at any time? To read about the 10 straightforward steps that local authorities can take to organise a Car-Free Day see here.
Photo credit: EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK