Green Cities Fit for Life

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European Mobility Week – Clean air – it’s your move!

16th – 22nd September 2013

“Clean air – it’s your move!” is this year’s European Mobility Week (EMW) tagline, which aims to highlight the effects of transport on urban air quality. This sustainable mobility initiative is set to take place from 16th – 22nd September 2013. The week-long event was established in 2002 to encourage European local authorities to introduce and promote sustainable transport measures, as well as to encourage citizens to use alternative transport to cars. By changing people’s transport habits and fuel consumption, emissions and congestion can all be reduced. Benefits range from improving air quality to citizens’ health.

16.09.2013 Mobility

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Last year European Mobility Week attracted 2158 cities. Already this year, 124 European cities have signed up. Whether it’s setting up a week of activities, implementing a permanent new measure or organising a “Town without my car” day – interested cities can register here. For the first year ever, it has been announced that China will also join the 2013 European Mobility campaign with 152 Chinese cities taking part in this year’s European Mobility Week.

For cities that are seeking inspirational ideas for their campaign programmes, the 2013 Best Practice Guide has recently been published, featuring short case studies from different European cities that have demonstrated good practice in their cities’ mobility initiatives. Vitoria-Gasteiz, the European Green Capital 2012, is praised in the guide for its thematic activities during European Mobility Week 2012, which centred around a new green transport mode for each day of the week.

Apart from this best practice guide, the 2013 Thematic Guidelines have just been published and are a great place to find ideas on getting your campaign started.

This extensive awareness campaign is having a significant impact on the way European citizens view transport. It is important for every green city to reduce dependency on cars and to make alternative modes of transport available to its citizens. Examples of initiatives that can be put in place include constructing cycle lanes, improving public transport and designating car free streets. Sustainable transport is one of the 12 environmental indicators assessed by the European Green Capital Award, as it is widely accepted that a better attitude to transport and more sustainable choices can improve the quality of life in urban areas. The European Green Capital Award aims to not only improve the European environment but to improve urban areas and develop them as centres of culture, as homes and as attractive living areas for people of all ages.

The 2012 European Green Capital, Vitoria-Gasteiz received praise 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 low level speed zones (10 km/h) and better management of freight distribution.

For more information on the European Green Capital Award click here.

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