With a view towards the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) taking place in December, tomorrow the European Commission is launching the annual EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK (16-22 September), with events scheduled to take place in over 2,000 European cities and towns. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK encourages innovative solutions for today's urban mobility challenges, which can contribute to the climate and decarbonisation objectives of the EU.
EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, who will officially open the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in Brussels on 16 September, said “EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is a reminder that each and every one of us can make a difference. If we choose to walk or cycle more, to favour collective or public transport or to combine these sustainable modes, Europe as a whole can reap considerable societal benefits. Put together, our individual choices can reduce CO2 emissions, urban congestion, noise, accidents, air pollution and create a better mobility."
As stressed by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his speech on the state of the Union, the fight against climate change will be won or lost in cities, where 75% of Europeans live and where 80% of Europe’s energy is consumed. This year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK will have a special focus on multimodality, allowing for citizens to choose, change and combine transport modes. Commissioner Bulc recorded a video message presenting her view of multimodality:
© European Union, 2015
One of the highlights of this year's EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK will be the car-free day, during which cities are partially closed to motorised traffic, allowing only pedestrians, cyclists, public transport and clean vehicles (e.g. electric cars). As an example, the old town of the Stockholm and much of the city centre will be pedestrianized.
Other events across Europe aim to demonstrate inspirational and innovative measures to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. In Tallinn, for example, citizens will benefit from free public transportation by showing their driving licence. In the Portuguese city of Aveiro, the citizens' initiative 'Ciclaveiro' will be organising a series of events, such as an exhibition, a workshop and a second-hand bicycle sale to promote cycling.
Information on local campaign programmes can be found at http://www.mobilityweek.eu/cities/
EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK supports the promotion of EU policies in the areas of transport, climate change, energy efficiency and sustainable urban development. Its message reaches approximately 170 million people in Europe and beyond.
The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK journey started in 1998 with the French ‘In Town Without My Car!’ day, which still encourages towns and cities to organise a car-free day each year, and to promote the use of sustainable modes of transport. The success of this initiative led to the launch of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in 2002. Now, with over 1 500 cities registered, over eight thousand permanent measures have been implemented as a direct legacy of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, mainly focusing on infrastructure for cycling and walking, improving transport accessibility and raising awareness about sustainable travel behaviour.
EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is financially supported by the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport of the Commission.