‘Clean, shared and intelligent mobility’ is the theme of this years’ EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK, which is running from 16-22 September. Each year this campaign, organised in different towns and cities across Europe and beyond, is designed to drive mobility and urban transport solutions, while offering ideas that help improve public health and quality of life.
EUROCITIES secretary general Anna Lisa Boni spoke at the launch of the Brussels’ week of activities. In her remarks, Ms Boni pointed to the strong commitment of European cities in taking the lead on urban mobility solutions. This includes 19 EUROCITIES members who contributed to the Brussels campaign via a screen based exhibition, ‘Urban mobility, rebuild your city’.
(EUROCITIES Members mentioned above and in the video are: Bialystok, Bonn, Chemnitz, Florence, Ghent, Gijon, Karlsruhe, Ljubljana, Lodz, Malmo, Nantes, Prague, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Tampere, Terrassa, Toulouse, Turku, Utrecht.)
Ms Boni invited other VIPs, including Pascal Smet, Minister of Mobility and Public Works for the Brussels Capital Region, to join her to turn on a big screen above the Schuman tunnel, just between the headquarters of the European Commission and the European Council, which will also be showing at Mont des Arts and in Flagey throughout EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK.
Mobility campaigns also encourage people to consider the use of their city streets and try out practical solutions to solve urban problems. With this in mind, Ms Boni, alongside partners from the European Cyclists’ Federation and the International Association of Public transport then took part in an e-bike ride from Schuman to Tour & Taxis on the other side of the Brussels canal.
Innovation in urban mobility is not just about finding the most tech-savvy solution; it is also about putting people at the heart of urban planning. This means, for example, moving people away from use of private cars and towards other forms of active transport, like walking and cycling.
This year, the focus has been on using shared means of transport. This can help reduce both personal expenses and a person’s carbon footprint. The sharing economy for transport is nowadays supported by many apps and online platforms that are designed to make it easier to manage our mobility.
Successful projects featured this year included advancements in autonomous vehicles by Karlsruhe, Strasbourg and Toulouse; clean transport solutions such as the electric river shuttle in Nantes; and experiments with electric mobility in Bonn, Gijon and Utrecht.
EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK is organised each year around three main principles. Local authorities of towns and cities are invited to join in if they commit to holding either a week of activities, implementing permanent measures to encourage people away from using private cars, or carrying out a car-free day.
This year over 1,200 local administrations have signed up to host a car-free day, with over 1,500 opting to host a week of activities.