25 March 2014
Rivas Vaciamadrid (Spain) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) win EU awards for sustainable urban mobility
The European Commission has announced the winners of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award for 2013 - Rivas Vaciamadrid (Spain) - and of the European Mobility Week Award - Ljubljana (Slovenia). Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas and Commissioner Janez Potočnik presented the cities with their awards at a joint award ceremony in Brussels, Belgium yesterday.
Vice-President Siim Kallas, Commissioner for mobility and transport, said: "I am impressed by the commitment of all the finalists to working across different areas to improve urban transport. Looking beyond transport is vital if we are to tackle our cities' mobility challenges. This is also why we are reinforcing our support for coordinated action, as described in our recent communication on urban mobility. Rivas Vaciamadrid is a very deserving winner because it stands out for the joint efforts of its mobility department and the environment, safety, education and health sectors, as well as for its actions for better road safety."
Commissioner for the Environment, Janez Potočnik said: "As every year, the European Mobility Week award finalists push the ambition and innovation always higher. I am delighted to see the campaign programmes produced that are a great contribution to the promotion of sustainable living in the EU. Sustainable cities are essential if we are to ensure their liveability for future generations."
Meet the winners
The population explosion of Rivas Vaciamadrid (Spain) is unique, having massively expanded from 500 inhabitants in 1980 to 80 000 in 2013. This has presented the city with extraordinary challenges for its urban mobility. To reduce the number of journeys made by car, Rivas Vaciamadrid has developed programmes which aim to improve road safety, whilst also reducing noise and air pollution. With its "School Paths" programme - a municipality-wide road safety educational programme - the city facilitates discussion between parents and teachers on their school’s mobility. Rivas Vaciamadrid stood out as the best example of this year’s theme (integration of economic, social, and environmental policy criteria): its sustainable urban mobility plan is the result of extensive cooperation between the mobility department and the environment, safety, education and health sectors, through the establishment of cross-sectoral working groups.
Close behind were the finalists Strasbourg (France) and Vitoria-Gasteiz (Spain). Find out more about the sustainable urban mobility plans award finalists here.
Ljubljana - the capital and largest city of Slovenia - confirmed its commitment to the European Mobility Week campaign by setting up an extensive programme of activities and events promoting sustainable travel, and by introducing permanent measures in favour of public transport, cycling and walking. While maintaining a consistent focus on the 2013 theme - "Clean Air, It's Your Move" - the city successfully engaged a wide variety of stakeholders, including research centres, schools, kindergartens, sports associations and citizens associations. By extending the existing noise and air quality measurements, Ljubljana was able to get a better overview of the impact of motorised traffic on public health and quality of life. The city also used the occasion to carry out research on travel behaviour and gather data on bicycle usage. On the occasion of car free day, Ljubljana restricted car access to Slovenska Street, one of the main boulevards of the city that was heavily affected by car traffic. This area will now be gradually redesigned as a pedestrian zone.
Runners-up Östersund and Budapest also demonstrated their commitment to sustainable urban mobility by developing creative campaign formats and introducing new transport solutions. Find out more about the EMW award finalists here.
The annual Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award is presented to local authorities which are excellent examples of how to address urban mobility challenges through developing and implementing sustainable urban mobility plans. Each year has a particular focus and the 2013 awards recognise cities with mobility plans illustrating the "integration of economic, social, and environmental policy criteria". The 2013 SUMP Award attracted 21 applications from 11 EU countries. An expert jury assessed the applications on their achievements and selected the winning city to receive the prize of EUR 10 000 to support their awareness-raising activities on sustainable urban mobility.
The European Mobility Week (EMW) award rewards the local authority which most actively promotes sustainable travel and introduces new measures to encourage a shift towards sustainable urban transport. Finalists were selected for their ambitious and innovative campaign programmes and for the consistent manner in which they linked their activities to the 2013 EMW theme of "Clean Air, It's Your Move!" The winning city will work with a professional production company to film a three-minute promotional clip highlighting its achievements. Together with the other finalists and shortlisted cities, the winning city will also be promoted as an example of best practice. An independent panel of transport experts assessed all eligible applications before shortlisting the 10 best local authorities. The 2013 EMW award received 30 applications from 12 countries.