With the contribution of the LIFE programme of the European Union - LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611
EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award – The top 10 European Cities
On 15th March 2016 the European Commission announced the list of top ten candidates for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2015 with this year’s theme “Choose. Change. Combine.”. It was a special year, as European Commission received 53 applications from 19 countries. However those, who have made the greatest effort in promoting the more sustainable means of transport, such as public transport, cycling, walking and the combination of them, and encouraging citizens to change their habits and ways of transport, were shortlisted as finalists.
In the list with the top ten cities are included: Bacau (Romania), Larnaka (Cyprus), Lisbon (Portugal), Miskolc (Hungary), Murcia (Spain), Nottingham (UK), Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Sofia (Bulgaria), Trikala (Greece), Vienna (Austria). From these, Lisbon (Portugal), Murcia (Spain) and Palma de Mallorca (Spain) nominated for claiming the award, as it was recognized that they performed successfully in promoting sustainable mobility and multimodality.
Let us make a review of the finalists and the actions, changes and long – term measures which adopted in order to become cleaner, quieter, safer and less crowded cities.
Beginning with the Portuguese capital, it is the first time in its history that was nominated as a finalist. In the framework of competition’s week, the local authorities of Lisbon organised a week of activities in which various stakeholders participated. For example, employees were challenged to participate in games, and residents were invited to attend discussions. Some of these events were tied to EU projects, such as MOBI, which promotes smart mobility to employees. Additionally, two Car – Free Day events were organised.
Moving on the next finalist, Murcia has been selected as finalist due to its focus on public transport and bikes. The city has an innovative approach to intermodal e – mobility consists of e – bikes and e – scooters. It has also established a loyalty scheme in order to reward best practices in commuter travel and provide special attention to people with reduce mobility. During the competition, Murcia’s local authorities organised Car – Free Day events, in which a total of 6,000 people participated. Moreover, bike racks on buses, folded bikes allowed on buses and opening bus lanes for cyclists were the major permanent measures which have been implemented.
The third finalist – Palma de Mallorca –has developed its Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan in early 2015 and has already implemented certain measures, such as new bicycle line and park station for 72 bikes. In addition and during the competition, a Car – Free Day was organised including a variety of activities in order to inform residents about sustainable mobility.
Concerning the other seven shortlisted cities, let us begin with the Greek and the Cypriot finalists. The Greek city of Trikala has made it to the top ten for the first time thanks to its numerous activities, many of which focused on road safety and in which students participated especially. Other significant permanent measures, which have been implemented by local authorities, concern the development of a network of cycling routes in order to promote urban cycling, the introduction of an autonomous bus, PV chargers for wheelchairs, solar power electric bikes and a “digital tree” with solar panels for charging mobile phones, electric bikes and other devices.
On the other hand, Larnaka participated in the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK for the fourteenth time! The third largest city in Cyprus has excelled in implementing sustainable urban mobility measures not only during the weekbut all year round. During the competition, the city focused its activities on culture, theatre and folklore in order to promote multimodality. Among other things, the municipality created a board game called Eco - Polis. Moreover, the construction of a new pedestrian plaza and the renovation of the seafront promenade are concerned as the major permanent measures.
Afterwards, the Romanian city of Bacau has been selected among the best cities in promoting sustainable urban mobility in Europe. It has introduced excellent permanent measures such as a residential parking permit system, the reduction of the number of parking places, the modernisation of streets and closing the city centre to vehicle traffic during weekends.
Miskolc, located in Morth – East Hungary, made it to the top ten for the first time in its history. During the week of competition, a competition between various methods of transportation to reach a given destination was presented, in which 6,000 residents participated. In addition, a monitoring on the quality of air was implemented. Regarding permanent measures, city’s authorities made significant investment into the expansion of tram network and bike lines.
Another one significant finalist – Nottingham – has been shortlisted thanks to the cooperation achieved between the City Car Club and Nottingham’s smart intermodal transport ticketing system. Also, the organisation of numerous events and activities on the Car – Free Day during the competition was one more factor contributed to its recognition. Furthermore and concerning permanent measures, Nottingham has extended the tram network, boosted its electric bus fleet, built new cycling routes, and introduced a business travel scheme.
For the Bulgarian capital, the selection was easier, as it authorities introduced a wide range of multimodal activities during the competition such as open discussions in order to engage citizens and students, sporting events, live music performances on trams, drawing contents for children and photo competition with the annual them. Additionally, electric and hydrogen fuelled vehicles were on display. Concerning Sofia’s permanent measures, underground pedestrian crossings, more metro lines and travel information displays have been developed.
Last but not least, Vienna made it to the top because of its focus on all modes of transport, including bicycles and bike-sharing, cargo bikes, and e-cars. It also launched the Year of Walking campaign in which citizens, a wide range of stakeholders and enterprises of every kind participated. Moreover, it should be mentioned that Vienna’s communication strategy was not a one-week venture. However, the city continues to promote active, eco-friendly and sustainable mobility all year round.
We should think carefully all the available means of transport for our travel and choose the best and shortest route concerning the environmental effects. Making smart choices in the combination of the different means of public transport, we save money, improve our health and help the environment!
The LIFE GYM [LIFE14 ENV/GR/000611] project is co-funded by the LIFE programme, the EU financial instrument for the environment.
The sole responsibility for the content of this report lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.
Start Date: 15 September 2015 – Duration: 35 months