Bigger and smaller cities’ efforts towards safe walking and cycling: meet the winners of the European Mobility Week Awards 2019

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EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK takes place annually in September, and every year distributes awards that recognise local authorities-- cities and municipalities-- believed to have done the most to raise awareness of sustainable mobility through their various coordinated activities throughout the week.

MOBILITYACTIONS taken during the week range from organising a car-free day, leading a walking tour through the city, to opening a new cycling lane on a main road. The actions must be creative, diverse and well-communicated to the public, and there must also be a number of impactful permanent measures taken.

Last year’s EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK theme was ‘Safe walking and cycling’. From 16-22 September 2019, big and small cities all over Europe (and other parts of the world) took part in this campaign.

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards are given out in two categories: one for municipalities larger than 50,000 inhabitants, and one for smaller municipalities under this threshold. In addition, the European Commission also selects the winners for the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) Award, and the EU Urban Road Safety Award.

 

Winner in the category of larger municipalities:  Kruševac, Serbia

In 2019, the European Mobility Award winning city of Kruševac organised lots of activities and implemented permanent measures which contributed to a reduced car usage. Throughout the week events included a performance pedestrian campaign ‘Safe on 2 Wheels’, and a car-free day during which even the mayor of the city came to work by foot!

Official measures implemented in Kruševac consisted of improving infrastructure such as pavements, pedestiran crossings and a bicycle network, and many more. Overall, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK in the city was very well communicated and involved numerous partners, including the public, who were also asked to fill out different surveys about what they would like the city to look like by the year 2021.

Our two other finalists in this category include Rethymno, Greece and Wrocław, Poland.

 

Winner in the category of smaller municipalities: Karditsa, Greece

MOBILITYACTIONS in Karditsa, the winner of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award in the smaller municipality category, began with the mayor publicly signing the Charter of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK. Furthermore, transport accessibility and safety issues were highlighted in their robust programme of activities. In collaboration with numerous schools, the city’s sidewalks were painted and trees planted.

Other initiatives included Information sessions, bicycle and walking tours in the city and a closing ceremony with thematic games and concerts. Permanent measures implemented in the Greek city that year included the new development of the bicycle network, including both bicycle hiring and sharing systems, as well as the overall development of new technologies to improve public transport and its accessibility.

Our two other finalists in this category include Alfândega da Fé, Portugal and Paide, Estonia.

 

Winner of the SUMP Award: Brussels Capital Region, Belgium

Brussels impressed the jury this year with their ambitious sustainable mobility goals, which include having zero road traffic deaths by 2030, restricting car usage and increasing the number of pedestrianised zones.  The city presented a strong approach to achieving these goals by involving all types of stakeholders in development processes, citizens’ engagement and the use “superblocks”, an innovative urban planning concept.

The other finalists are Kaunas, Lithuania and Wrocław, Poland.

 

Winner of the first EU Road Safety Award: Pontevedra, Spain

Pontevedra is noted for having achieved zero road deaths between 2011 and 2018, and has steadily reduced road fatalities since 1999. With measures that ensure both safety and sustainability, the city reduced speed limits and created more attractive public spaces for pedestrians which led to an increase in walking and cycling in the city.

The other finalists are Jaworzno, Poland and Ordu, Turkey.

 

Congratulations to all of these remarkable cities for their efforts to promote sustainable mobility!

 

This year’s theme for EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is ‘Zero-Emission Mobility for All’. Head to the website for more information to and register your MOBILITYACTIONS!

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