Brussels, 15 March 2011
Environment: Almada wins European Mobility Week Award 2010
The Portuguese city of Almada has won the 2010 European Mobility Week Award. Almada was judged by an independent panel of mobility experts to have done the most to promote alternatives to the car, and to highlight the positive impact of other means of transport on public health and the environment during European Mobility Week 2010. Murcia in Spain and the Latvian capital Riga were runners-up. The awards were presented by Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik at a ceremony in Brussels on 14 March 2011.
Commissioner Potočnik said: "Too many Europeans rely on their cars even for short journeys. The increased pollution and congestion harm the environment but also our health. European Mobility Week promotes local authorities that successfully encourage people to use other ways of travelling, thereby improving their health and the quality of life in cities. I hope that Almada, Murcia and Riga will inspire many cities across Europe."
European Mobility Week 2010
A record 2,221 European towns and cities officially participated in the ninth annual edition of European Mobility Week (EMW) from 16 to 22 September 2010. The 2010 edition revolved around the theme ‘Travel Smarter, Live Better' to emphasise the benefits of active and sustainable mobility on citizens' health and well-being. The award rewards the local authority that is deemed to have done most in raising public awareness of sustainable travel as a means of promoting physical activity and to contribute to reducing noise, air pollution and congestion that are known to have detrimental effects on health and well-being. The winning city was chosen by an independent panel of transport experts who have assessed 30 applications and shortlisted 10 local authorities which they considered had performed outstandingly well during EMW 2010.
Winning entry: Almada
The Portuguese coastal city of Almada promoted sustainable mobility through dozens of permanent measures. To commemorate the 10th anniversary of EMW in Almada, the municipality – together with the local Energy Agency – organised an impressive week of activities dedicated to sustainable transport and health. This culminated in a major event on 18 September – Mobility Festival Day – offering street markets, demonstrations of electrical vehicles, bicycle fairs, concerts, sport activities, dance and street performances, bike sprints, workshops, films, exhibitions and street art demonstrations. Almada also improved the road infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists and created several bicycle parking places and charging stations for bikes and electric vehicles. For Car Free Day, Almada converted the historic and commercial centre of Cacilhas into a pedestrian zone.
For the 2010 edition of European Mobility Week, ALEM, the local energy agency of Murcia, Spain, organised a creative mix of activities to promote healthy and sustainable travel behaviour to a range of different target groups. Murcia launched a range of permanent measures to encourage cycling, including a bicycle strategy, an office with a dedicated website, a public bicycle system and free bikes for city staff. The city also extended bus lines, introduced integrated fares with cheaper rates for specific categories of users and upgraded its electronic traffic management services.
The Latvian capital city Riga encouraged active travel by offering an ambitious programme of activities around cycling. This included competitions, exhibitions, information programmes, retro cycling tours, promotion of electric vehicles, demonstrations on air quality measurement and traffic safety, art performances, concerts and street games on the theme of transport and health. Throughout the week, citizens were encouraged to identify and report potential improvements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure. By organising a competition on “The Healthiest Work Place”, the Riga City Traffic Department collected information about measures taken in the workplace to promote a healthy lifestyle and active travel. Riga also organised several Car Free Day events, reserving streets in the city centre for walking, cycling and other sustainable transport modes.
European Mobility Week 2011
EMW 2011 will be held from 16 to 22 September and will focus on "Alternative Mobility".