"These cities found creative and innovative ways of improving the urban environment using cleaner transport solutions. I would like to congratulate all our finalist cities for tackling their own individual challenges with such dedication and determination. Bremen stands out as an excellent example of using feedback from residents to develop the city's urban mobility plans by learning from past experiences and coordinating with peer cities and partnerships. Östersund is being recognised for its ambitious campaign programme featuring a broad variety of sustainable travel options during European Mobility Week 2014," said Commissioner Bulc.
Karl Falkenberg, Director-General of DG Environment commented: "Breathing clean air doesn't seem too much to ask – but air pollution is still needlessly shortening the lives of too many Europeans all over our continent. A large part of that pollution comes from private transport, so it's extremely encouraging to see these clean, green solutions to urban mobility. Better mobility doesn't just bring better air quality it also means reduced emissions, less noise and a healthier urban environment for all."
The jury particularly acknowledged Thessaloniki (Greece) for demonstrating considerable commitment and effort in the field of sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP). The Greek city, which adopted its first SUMP in February 2014, made tremendous efforts in a difficult working environment, towards establishing brand-new procedures for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of its mobility plan.
Meet the winners
Bremen wins the EUR 10 000 prize because of its imaginative and systematic approach to monitoring and evaluation. An interactive web platform was used to obtain feedback from residents. Using this and other data a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis was conducted. Five different scenarios were then examined showing the effect of different measures e.g. major investment in public transport, or only smaller measures promoting walking and cycling. The scenarios illustrated that promoting active mobility was the most efficient strategy for Bremen. Finally, a cost-benefit analysis was conducted under the guidance of external experts.
Since effective monitoring and evaluation strategies were what the judges based their assessments on, they were especially impressed by Bremen. In particular, the judges appreciated Bremen's ability to keep learning and to communicate these lessons effectively to stakeholders. Town hall meetings and public information booths are used to raise awareness amongst residents.
The other finalists were Dresden (Germany) and Ghent (Belgium) .
Östersund has participated in European Mobility Week for 12 years in a row and this year's achievement – winning a promotional three-minute video – follows on from its selection as a finalist in 2012. As a city with well over 7 000 students, Östersund works closely with Mid Sweden University to encourage students to travel in a sustainable way. Last year, the city focused on cooperation and inclusion, for example by organising a three-day course teaching young migrants how to cycle. Östersund is also a lead partner in the Green Highway project, which aims to establish a 440 kilometre fossil fuel-free route across Sweden and Norway.
The city also introduced a range of permanent measures, including improved infrastructure for cycling and walking, new bus shelters, a real time information app for public transport users and charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Murcia (Spain) and Vienna (Austria) were the other two finalists.
The Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) Award is presented to local authorities that demonstrate excellence in the given theme. This year the focus was on monitoring and evaluation of both the planning processes and the implementation measures of sustainable urban mobility plans. This year, the SUMP award attracted 17 applications from 10 countries.
The SUMP Award jury consisted of specialists in the fields of transport and urban planning: Patrizia Malgieri, TRT (Transporti e Territorio), Aljaž Plevnik, UIRS (Urbanistični inštitut Republike Slovenije), and Susanne Boehler-Baedeker, Rupprecht Consult.
A total of 38 cities from 18 countries applied for the European Mobility Week (EMW) Award . These cities were selected on the basis of a strong link with the 2014 EMW theme of ‘Our streets, our choice’.
The EMW Award jury was composed of four independent transport experts - William Todts T&E – Transport & Environment, Robert Pressl, FGM-AMOR (Austrian Mobility Research), Vincent Meerschaert, Traject, Benedicte Swennen, ECF (European Cyclists’ Federation), a representative from DG ENV and a representative from DG MOVE.