European Mobility Week: 20 years on

16 September 2021

As towns and cities across Europe gear up for another week of mobility-related activities, a virtual exhibition looks back over 20 years of European Mobility Week.

The retrospective highlights special mobility moments that have happened since the week’s inaugural year in 2002, when 1,300 towns and cities from 35 countries signed up to organise a one-day event to celebrate ‘car-free day’.

Since then, the week has grown year-on-year, becoming a week-long affair. This year, almost 3000 towns and cities from approximately 50 countries are participating by hosting events on the theme “safe and healthy with sustainable mobility”.

Two decades of inspiration

The virtual museum will showcase the history of the campaign, the impact it has achieved, and its links to the European Commission’s broader goals, such as the EU Green Deal.

The museum will also highlight personal stories of behavioural change, illustrating how European Mobility Week has inspired residents from across Europe to adapt their mobility habits in favour of active mobility, public transport, and other clean, intelligent transport solutions.

EU Commissioner for Transport, Adina Vălean, said: “I want to thank the thousands of towns and cities that have participated in the campaign to date. Not only does your commitment help ensure our urban areas become greener and cleaner, but it also helps communities to stay safe and healthy during these challenging times.”

Week of activities

Cities will carry out activities over the week, culminating in world car-free day on September 22. German city Bremen, for example, will transform several car parking spaces into parklets – areas where residents can meet to socialise, play sports, or discuss urban mobility.

The city will also organise a film night ride, where a cinema screen is transported around the city by cargo bicycle, stopping in different locations to screen films highlighting this year’s theme.

As part of Mobility Week, cities can apply for the European Mobility Week, Road Safety and SUMP Awards until 31 October. The Mobility Week Museum will remain open until the end of the year.

Connecting Europe

This year’s mobility week also coincides with the European Year of Rail highlighting the important role rail has to play in contributing to the EU Green Deal goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050. The Connecting Europe Express is currently making its way through Europe, stopping in most European capitals to promote the many benefits of rail for passengers, freight and the environment.

And on September 23, an open public consultation will close on a new urban mobility framework. It is hoped these measures will encourage EU Member States to develop urban transport systems that are safe, accessible, inclusive, affordable, smart, resilient, and emission-free.

You can discover the European Mobility Week Museum here and visit the Week’s website here.