Green Cities Fit for Life

Image by M Hjälm

European Mobility Week

16th – 22nd September 2012, Europe

The European Mobility Week is the most widespread campaign on sustainable mobility in the world. It takes place annually from the 16th to the 22nd of September. The aim of the campaign is to get local authorities involved in directly encouraging their citizens to make more sustainable transport decisions. So far over 100 cities have pledged to participate in this year’s campaign and this number is expected to reach over 2,000 based on last year’s participation.

Every year the European Mobility Award chooses a different theme and this year it is to be Moving in the Right Direction and will focus on mobility planning in urban settings. Urban transport accounts for 40% of all transport in the EU and is responsible for a quarter of the CO2 emissions. Better planning and investment has been proven to reduce congestion and emissions in urban areas.

Since its introduction in 2002, the impact of European Mobility Week has steadily grown, both across Europe and around the world. In 2011,  a  record  number  of  2,268  cities registered for the campaign,  re-presenting  approximately  156  million citizens. A  total  of  7,506  permanent  measures  have been  implemented,  mainly  focusing  on  infrastructure  for cycling  and  walking,  traffic  calming,  improving transport  accessibility  and  raising  awareness about sustainable travel behaviour.

Each year a winning city is chosen from the applicants. This city is the one that made the most progress within the guidelines of the theme. Last year’s theme was Alternative Mobility and the winner was Bologna (Italy). Judges voted the city the best in promoting clean alternatives to using cars and involving citizens in activities to support sustainable urban mobility during European Mobility Week 2011.

The European Green Capital recognises the impact that well planned sustainable transport can have on the overall environment of a city and has listed local transport as one the 12 indicators for the Award. Not only does transportation management reduce greenhouse gas emissions but it also reduces the release of air pollutants that can cause health issues such as respiratory problems. Effective sustainable urban transport means healthier citizens, more accessibility, improved safety, more efficient and cost-effective transport of people and goods.

Our current European Green Capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz won approval for its Sustainable Mobility Plan and active measures to promote eco-friendly modes of transport, including improvements to the public transport system, the extension of the city’s “Superblock” with its very love level speed zones (10 km/h) and better management of freight distribution.

For more information on what the 2012 European Green Capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz is doing click here

For more information on European Mobility week click here

For more information about the European Green Capital Award click here