Mobility and Transport

Sustainable transport

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2019: promoting walking and cycling for better towns and cities

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2019: promoting walking and cycling for better towns and cities

16/09/2019

Today sees the start of the 18th edition of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, the European Commission’s flagship campaign promoting clean and sustainable urban transport. Running from 16-22 September, almost 3,000 towns and cities from about 50 countries will join with their activities promoting safe walking and cycling with the call to action “Walk with us!”. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK culminates each year in the well-known Car-Free Day, when streets close for traffic and open for people!

Speaking about EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2019, EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said: "This year we would like to remind EU citizens that walking is enjoyable, healthy and completely free of charge. Many times it’s also a connecting mode for a smooth multimodal journey. The EU has invested a lot of effort to make it safe as well. So put on your walking shoes and walk with us!"

Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, said: "When it comes to clean transport, walking is the most environmentally friendly way to move around our towns and cities. Local governments can do a lot to encourage walking in urban areas, pedestrianising streets, creating low-emission zones, and allocating more space to walkers. It’s great for your health, but walking also means doing your bit for your city’s air quality, one step at a time."

Local authorities that make significant efforts to promote sustainable urban mobility during the campaign can apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards from 23 September until 23 October 2019. In 2018, the award for larger cities was presented to the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, while the German city of Lindau won in the category for towns and cities with less than 50,000 inhabitants.

Local authorities can also apply by 31 October 2019 for the SUMP Award, which is presented to local and regional authorities that have achieved excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning.

In addition, local authorities can also apply for the EU Urban Road Safety Award. The award, which was launched today, rewards local authorities for implementing innovative measures to improve road safety. The call for applications is open until 16 December 2019.

 

Background

EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK focuses on a different aspect of sustainable urban mobility each year. Local governments across Europe (and beyond) provide a space for residents to test out active mobility modes and discover the benefits of sustainable forms of transport.

This year, the German city of Würzburg will set up a "Thank you for cycling" station, providing cyclists with an air pump and tools for minor repairs, as well as home-made biscuits. The city is additionally inviting cyclists to take part in a "bicycle self-help workshop" on Thursday 19 September, during which participants will receive advice from local bicycle repair experts.

Stavanger in Norway will similarly reward those who opt for sustainable modes of transport, handing out a free breakfast to those walking, going by bicycle, or taking the bus or train on 19 September.

Velenje in Slovenia will celebrate the week by holding seminars and workshops on sustainable mobility, in addition to organising guided walking tours and a "historic cycling" event featuring bicycles from years gone by.

The Czech capital of Prague is organising a "Bike to Work" challenge throughout the week, encouraging commuters to hop on their bicycle rather than sit in their car.

Granada, Spain, will place a particular emphasis on children this EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, with a pedi-bus set to run through different neighbourhoods, bringing kids to school on foot. School children will also have the chance to pay a visit to the mobility management centre of Granada. A special "intergenerational" walk will take place on 21 September aimed at children and their grandparents, culminating in an open-air party.

In Britain, the City of Birmingham will hold a major Car-Free Day, converting a section of the iconic A38 Aston Expressway into a paved park. Around 1 mile (1.6 km) will be car free for the first time ever, with games and activities planned between 10am and 4pm.

To see the full list of towns and cities participating in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2019, visit: http://www.mobilityweek.eu/2019-participants

 

Public consultation

Improving urban mobility, while reducing congestion, accidents and pollution is a challenge all cities face. The Commission is currently conducting a public consultation on urban mobility. All citizens and organisations are welcome to contribute to it: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2018-59...

 

For more information

To learn more about how the European Commission supports towns and cities and promotes sustainable urban mobility, take a look at "Europe on the Move", the Commission's agenda for safe, clean and connected mobility, the urban mobility package, and the additional information on Commission support.