The EU has been talking the talk about sustainable mobility for years, and this year cities are continuing to walk the walk with EUROPEAN MOBILITY WEEK. This year’s theme ‘Walk with us!’ has seen more than 3,000 towns and cities across Europe and the globe working with citizens to show off the many benefits that more walking and cycling bring.
We have worked with the Commission for many years to organise EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, an opportunity for our members to put their successes on display, rally citizens around the cause, and open dialogue with the Commission around European mobility policy issues.
When the Commission is trying to understand the mobility situation on the ground in Europe’s cities, it is often the pool of participants in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK that they turn to. Our members always make a good showing, and this year is no different.
Sustainability is a cakewalk
EU transport commissioner Violeta Bulc reminded EU citizens that “walking is enjoyable, healthy and completely free of charge.” Sofia will be bringing this home to citizens with a host of walking tours for adults and children, everything from walking the city’s historical routes, to a high-tech virtual reality tour with VR headsets. Wroclaw is also taking a tech-angle, reminding us of one of the best things about walking: opportunities to take photos on our mobile phones!
Karmenu Vella, EU commissioner for environment pointed to the important role of cities, “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.” Stavanger is taking up this challenge by organising a host of events for the week, including handing out free breakfasts as a thank you to commuters who opt for sustainable transport.
Walking in his or her shoes
While also embracing the tech-perspective with the launch of a new mobility app, Gijon reminds us that different groups walk through different realities, with workshops on urban mobility from a gender perspective.
The crescendo of the week will be Car-Free Day, when city streets will be returned to the people, who will celebrate with music, sports, and festivities in the reclaimed space. Birmingham’s Car-Free Day will convert a section of the iconic A38 Aston Expressway into a paved park, making around 1.6 km car free for the first time ever.
Cities walk tall
With these and many more examples from EUROCITIES cities, it’s clear why our members walk away with so many prizes at the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK awards every year.