Eurocities members Braga, Zagreb and Sofia are the three finalists of the annual European Mobility Week award.
The cities stood out for their remarkable work in promoting sustainable transport as part of last year’s 16- 22 September European Mobility Week.
The nominees won widespread recognition for integrating society’s needs with environmental awareness and for building new infrastructure that fostered walking, cycling and public transport uptake.
The European Commission will announce the winner on 23 March at an award ceremony in Belgium’s Ghent. The event will also see the debut of the Mobility Action award, a newly created prize recognising civil society and business’ actions in mobility management, such as helping students, employees and residents to commute more sustainably.
Mobility Action prize finalists are Ar2tgether, Metropolia GZM and UCB Pharma. The winner among them will be crowned at the 23 March award ceremony.
From clean air to affordable transport
The Portuguese city of Braga impressed judges with its innovative sustainable mobility plan aimed at improving connections among people, local businesses and universities. During last year’s European Mobility Week, Braga teamed up with some 100 local companies to ban traffic from the streets. The measure allowed locals to use public spaces freely and safely for activities like gymnastics and street art, encouraging children to cycle and play at mini-parks.
Sofia earned praise for its innovative transport model to move sustainably at affordable prices. The Bulgarian capital introduced electric buses, inexpensive tickets, green corridors and an on-demand mobile application. Sofia is also taking part in the InnoAir project to reduce its exceeding levels of air pollution through traffic calming measures.
Zagreb owes the nomination to an interdisciplinary approach that merges and advances environmental, transport and digital goals. This thanks to programmes such as Zagreb Smart City Strategy, Air Protection Programme 2022 – 2026 and Noise Management Action Plan. In parallel, the Croatian capital is working to wean itself off a car-centric mentality by creating new infrastructure that will foster a behavioural shift. As part of this effort, the city is building a 122 km cycling path to the Slovenian border and a 23 km bicycle highway.
In the Mobility Action category, jurors were impressed by Italian NGO Ar2tgether and its public art project ‘Strade Future’ (Streets of the Future) that promotes sustainable mobility through art installations.
Polish municipalities network Metropolia GZM earned the nomination for turning a university parking lot in Katowice into an interactive, green pedestrian area.
Belgian pharmaceutical company UCB Pharma was selected for its awareness-raising activities to keep vulnerable users safe at its local campus and production areas. The company’s long-term goal is to ban car traffic from the campus by 2030.
Almost almost 3,000 towns and cities from 51 countries in Europe and beyond participated in the 2022 edition of European Mobility Week. Launched in 2002, the event takes place every year the week of 16-22 September.
The awareness-raising campaign encourages people to move actively and sustainably by promoting walking, cycling and public transport use. It also prompts municipalities to create innovative sustainable mobility plans, build new infrastructure, and raise awareness among local communities.
Top picture: A fountain in Zagreb lit up in the European Mobility Week logo.©️European Mobility Week