European Mobility Week: citizens encouraged to switch to sustainable transport

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Could you adapt your mode of transport to travel sustainably for a week? This is the challenge that citizens across Europe will take up for this year’s European Mobility Week.

From 16 to 22 September, hundreds of European cities are taking part in the European Commission’s awareness campaign which aims to encourage behavioral change in favor of active mobility such as walking and cycling, public transport and other solutions. clean and smart transportation. Here we look at examples of ini

take place in the Benelux region.

In 2022, European Mobility Week will focus on creating “better connections”.

Connected by public transport

“The choice of this year’s theme reflects people’s desire to reconnect across Europe, after months of isolation, restrictions and constraints. Thanks to public transport, people have the means to stay connected,” explains Kim Vo, head of communication and public relations at the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, where public transport has been free since 2020.

Towns and municipalities from all over Luxembourg are taking part in the week, including the town of Esch-sur-Alzette which will be car-free on 18 September. pastries on September 16. At Ell, middle school students are invited to “Pimp up your bus shelter” by decorating it with washable colours.

Luxembourg City Tourist Office will offer free bike and walking tours to showcase the capital’s mobility infrastructure. The City of Luxembourg, the NGO Info-Handicap and other partners are also launching the public awareness campaign “Chacun voyage”, which aims to improve the movement of passengers with disabilities in public transport and related infrastructure through empathy , increased respect and consideration.

Sustainable mobility for a healthier future

The city of Amersfoort during mobility week © Citymarketing Amersfoort

In the Netherlands, the province of Utrecht organizes activities such as bike puzzle tours, a bike ride with the bike mayor of Utrecht (a person selected to be the face and voice of cycling progress in a city), discounts on bus tickets and bike-sharing services.

The city of Amersfoort will close part of a busy road to motorized traffic in the evening from September 16 to 18e. Music, sports and games will replace the thousands of cars that usually roll down the road every day.

“To keep our province accessible, green and healthy, we encourage the use of sustainable mobility. Sustainable mobility is good for the environment and takes up less space in our busy cities and province. And if you choose to cycle or walk, it’s also good for your health,” says Marjolein Antonides, campaign coordinator and communications specialist at the province of Utrecht.

Child-friendly mobility

A woman and a child on a bicycle in Brussels © Bruxelles Mobilité
A woman and a child on a bicycle in Brussels © Bruxelles Mobilité

In the Brussels-Capital Region in Belgium, the theme for this year’s mobility week is “For a child-friendly city”. For 15 years, more and more young people have been going to schools in the Brussels region by bicycle and public transport. They are less likely to travel by car, with 62% of primary school students and 84% of secondary school students using alternative modes of transport at least every other day. Brussels Mobility wants to see more young people able to move actively and safely around the city and wants to increase these figures to 70% and 90% respectively by 2030.

“Rethinking public space by taking into account the needs of children means rethinking mobility for a more inclusive city for the benefit of all”, explains Camille Thiry, Head of Communication at Brussels Mobility.

Pupils are invited to participate in the “To school without my car” challenge and to walk or bike to school. Adults are invited to take part in the “Work without my car” challenge. Employees of some 200 companies will be able to test out more sustainable modes of transport, with Brussels Mobility providing public transport tickets, as well as (electric) bicycles, electric scooters and cargo bikes to try out during the week.

On September 18, the Brussels-Capital Region will also become the largest car-free zone in Europe as part of the ‘Car-Free Sunday’. The local public transport system will be free all day.

Safer streets as a human right

Safer roads are an essential part of the transition to greener mobility, and the United Nations’ Streets for Life campaign aims for a world where neighborhood streets are safe, healthy, green and livable. As part of the new decade of action for road safety, the global campaign aims to halve the number of road fatalities by 2030.

“Road safety is a basic human right. This is essential for economic development, access to health care and education, and climate change mitigation,” said UN Special Envoy for Road Safety Jean Todt.

Low-speed streets, especially in urban areas, are essential for people to walk, live and play freely. In the event of a collision, the consequences are less serious at reduced speed. Since January 2021, cars in Brussels must respect a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h on most streets in the city. The “30 City Scheme” also aims to improve health and reduce noise pollution. Other European cities to have introduced citywide 30km/h limits include Grenoble and Lille in France, and Bilbao and Valencia in Spain.

Luxembourg has implemented measures that include traffic calming, the development of 20 km/h and 30 km/h zones and new infrastructure for cyclists.

The province of Utrecht focuses on the 3 Es to improve road safety: engineering, education and enforcement. This involves identifying places with an increased risk of accidents; raise awareness; and reinforce respect for traffic rules.

“Safe mobility is a shared responsibility and today we need the commitment of all leaders and members of the public to create safer streets for everyone,” Todt concludes.

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