Brussels, 17 September 2012
Environment: European Mobility Week 2012 "Moving in the right direction"
Hundreds of European towns and cities will participate in the 11th edition of European Mobility Week from 16 to 22 September 2012. Citizens are invited to join in activities promoting alternative modes of transport and reducing private car use. This year’s focus, "Moving in the right direction" aims to raise awareness of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and how to better involve citizens and local stakeholders in the planning process.
Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for the Environment, said: “Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning is a way to balance transport development, environmental quality and social equity. Better planning can help cities benefit from greater mobility as well as better air quality, reduced emissions, less noise and a healthier urban environment. Moving towards a sustainable and efficient transport system will help enhance mobility and at the same time reduce pollution and improve the quality of life for citizens. So, let’s start moving!”
"In responding to the challenge to make our cities cleaner and safer, we have to find the right balance for our daily travel needs. We are all frustrated by traffic congestion, noise and pollution, and we know the risk of road accidents, but quite often our good intentions do not translate into sustainable mobility. This is why European Mobility Week supports the development of pedestrian areas and cycle infrastructure, the improvement of public transport, and brings together local communities. We call on towns and cities to join us in making the right choices for public transport, shared road space and smooth mobility for all" said Vice-President Siim Kallas.
Commissioner Potočnik will officially launch the European Mobility Week campaign on 18 September 2012 as part of the "Sustainable Two-Wheels" event at the European Parliament. The European Parliament Transport Committee will hold a hearing in the afternoon, inviting cities and the public to debate sustainable urban mobility.
Moving in the Right Direction
As the consequences of motorised traffic are increasingly being felt in urban areas, many cities are realising that they need ambitious strategies to respond to greater congestion, higher emissions and road accidents. Public transport availability also has social impacts as for example time-to-work may be longer for people who have to live where rent is low. Developing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in close consultation with businesses and civil society can boost towns' and cities' economic performance and improve quality of life at the local level. European Mobility Week offers a chance to develop and improve the Plans through conferences and debates and by demonstrating and testing new solutions. It also gives the opportunity to local authorities to introduce and promote measures to encourage cycling, walking and collective transport.
Mobility Week Award
Towns and cities that take part in Mobility Week are encouraged to apply for the European Mobility Week Award 2012. The award goes to cities judged to have organised the most innovative campaigns in terms of quality of activities linked to the annual theme and range of permanent measures implemented. The city of Bologna (Italy) was the 2011 European Mobility Week Award winner. Bologna won over the European Mobility Week jury by organising a Car Free weekend instead of just one day. The permanent measures implemented included building charging points for electric cars and a plan to extend the city's network of cycling paths to 130 km. Zagreb (Croatia) and Larnaka (Cyprus) were runners-up (see IP/12/218).
Over the last decade European Mobility Week has supported cities in creating a more pleasant and healthy environment for citizens by encouraging them to reduce traffic congestion and promoting sustainable and human-powered modes of transport. Mobility Week has seen a continuous increase in the number of cities taking part since its launch in 2002, with 2268 towns around the world taking part in 2011. European towns and cities can sign up to the European Mobility Week Charter and publish their programmes on www.mobilityweek.eu
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