European Mobility Week Award Ceremony with the participation of Janez Potočnik and Siim Kallas
End production: 06/03/2013 First transmission: 06/03/2013
On 6 March 2013, the European Commission has announced the winners of the 2012 European Mobility Week Award and of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Award. The cities were presented with their awards by Janez Potočnik, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, and Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transports, at a joint award ceremony in Brussels.
The European Mobility Week (EMW) 2012 award winner Zagreb, Croatia is a rising star in the field of sustainable urban mobility. The city won the award for its well-organised campaign to promote the week, a strong link with the 2012 theme ’Moving in the right direction’ and 62 separate activities involving more than 150 000 citizens. Aberdeen took the top honour in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans Award ahead of two other finalists: Ljutomer, Slovenia and Toulouse, France.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel, Master of ceremonies, (in ENGLISH) giving some introductory words to open the European Mobility Week (EMW) and Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan(SUMP) Awards
||Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH): Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to the European Mobility Week awards ceremony.
Since its launch in 2002, the European Mobility Week has been very successful in encouraging change in the way we move. This is exactly what we aim at.
We are all more and more aware of the impact that transport has on our lives. The benefits of cleaner transport are endless from improved health and a cleaner environment, to increased resource efficiency, strengthened competitiveness and also more sustainable economic growth.
And the Award aims to raise our awareness on the role we can all together play in this change.
In 2012 we encouraged participants to "Move in the right direction" by promoting an integrated approach to mobility planning that puts people at the forefront. 2,158 cities participated. We can certainly call it a success!
Three quarters of Europe's population lives in cities. It is only natural that citizens should be at the centre of decisions and actions when it comes to urban mobility. Without their support and active participation, mobility initiatives cannot see the light of the day or be effective. The European Mobility Week campaign provides a perfect opportunity for citizens to explain the challenges their cities and towns face, and identify the right solutions together. Please, take advantage of this opportunity!
There is still a lot to be done. A recent report by the European Environment Agency suggests that improvements in transport are mainly due more to increased efficiencies than a shift towards sustainability or avoidance of non-essential journeys.
Sustainable urban development is crucial in tackling air pollution, congestion and other traffic-related problems, which have serious impacts on our health and well-being. Improved planning can help cities take advantage of greater mobility, better air quality, less noise, and a healthier environment. It can support the transition towards a resource-efficient transport system by promoting clean fuel-efficient and human-powered modes of transport. It can, and should, encourage cities to be innovative and to be forward-looking.
I am pleased to see that so many already recognise the need to develop a vision for an urban transport system that meets mobility demands, protects the environment and makes the city a better and safer place to live.
Ladies and gentlemen,
This year, as you all know, I have declared 2013 as the "Year of Air" for environment policy. European Mobility Week will focus on the ‘air quality’ to raise awareness among the general public about this important environmental challenge, and promote effective solutions.
Air pollution seems invisible unless you live in other parts of the world such as Beijing or Mexico City where you can actually see the smog and feel like a kind of human vacuum cleaner. But let's not be fooled by the lack of visibility – it is still a major cause of illness and death. Despite a lot of progress has made to date, we estimate that about 400,000 people in Europe die prematurely every year. In addition, a very large number of people suffer daily from respiratory diseases and allergies linked to air pollution, which prevent them from living normal healthy lives, with associated costs for hospitalisation and absence from the daily workplace.
Unfortunately – despite all the conclusive information we have - the main cause of air pollution still remains traffic. This clearly gives a critical pinch to the life-styles we have developed. I will pay specific attention to this sector in the upcoming air policy review, to make sure that transport emissions continue to decrease. In many cases, however, it is clear that measures at EU level will not be sufficient to achieve lower levels of air pollution. For hot-spot areas such as large cities, national and local action will have to complement initiatives developed at EU level, if we want to obtain lasting results.
It is very encouraging to see so many creative solutions developed locally. The excellent work done by the three finalist cities of Gävle, Östersund and Zagreb serve as great examples of how to make it real on the ground. Today we celebrate their excellent results, but I would also like to congratulate all the other participants for their outstanding achievements. In 2012 a record of 7,717 permanent measures were launched. Impressive outcome for which all participants deserve a true applause!
I look forward to learning more about how these changes will contribute to concrete results.
I will also try to make a more personal and modest contribution to improving the quality of air we breathe by participating at the Earth Hour ‘I will if you will’ challenge. I challenged a thousand people to leave their cars at home for one week. So far we have tested free-car Sundays but free-car working days are certainly more demanding! I invite you all to join me. In exchange I promised I would sing in front of an audience of a thousand people. I know it’s just small steps, but if enough of us take those small steps, then it makes a giant leap forward… But if you are here today, you already know this.
And now let's honour the achievements of 2012 and celebrate these very important big, small steps.
Thank you for your attention.
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) thanking Janez Potočnik for his speech and introducing the video presentation on Bologna, the 2011 EMW Award winner
||Video presentation from 2011 EMW Award winner
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting the Representative of the city of Bologna to take the floor
||Soundbite by the Representative of the city of Bologna (in ENGLISH) giving some thanks and promoting the actions they undertook since they received the award
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) giving some introductory words to present the participants of this new edition
||Video presentation of 2012 EMW Award finalists
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting the finalists to come to the stage
||Soundbite by Janez Potočnik (in ENGLISH) announcing the 2012 EMW winner: Zagreb
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting the Representative of the city of Zagreb to take the floor
||Soundbite by the Representatives of the city of Zagreb (in ENGLISH) giving some thanks after receiving the award
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting Janez Potočnik to give the certificate to the two finalists
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) thanking the finalists and inviting Siim Kallas, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transports, to take the floor
||Soundbite by Siim Kallas (in ENGLISH) giving some introductory words to open the SUMP Awards
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) presenting the three finalists: Scotland, Slovenia and France
||Video presentation of the SUMP Award finalists
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting Siim Kallas to take the floor
||Soundbite by Siim Kallas (in ENGLISH) announcing the 2012 SUMP winner: Scotland
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting the finalists and winner to come to the stage
||Soundbite by the Representative of the city of Aberdeen (in ENGLISH) giving some thanks after receiving the award
||Soundbite by Katrina Sichel (in ENGLISH) inviting the finalists to come on stage in order to receive their certificate and giving some closing words to end the ceremony