Today, 16 September, marks the launch of the 19th European Mobility Week, the European Commission’s annual campaign to promote clean, sustainable urban mobility while highlighting the importance of zero-emission mobility for all.
The European Mobility Week offers local governments across Europe — and beyond — the chance for residents to test active mobility modes and discover the benefits of sustainable forms of transport.
This year, Essen, in Germany, will launch the city’s first sidewalk or pavement extension and will organise workshops on road safety and sustainable mobility, examining, for instance, how local businesses can become bicycle-friendly employers. In addition, the city plans to launch a new e-charging station and install smart lamp posts.
Last July, the European Mobility Week’s website launched a factsheet offering towns and cities 10 lessons about improving urban mobility that had been learned from dealing with the COVID-19 lockdown. Lessons range from remembering the importance of public space — that cities should be built for people, not cars — to the impact that working from home and buying goods online can have on the environmental footprint and mobility patterns.
From 16–22 September, thousands of towns and cities from over 40 countries will be organising activities based on zero-emission mobility for all. A singular feature is the now famous car-free day, when roads are closed to motorised traffic and open for people on foot or on bikes, e-scooters, and other mobility devices.
“This year is a big challenge for our towns and cities. But the pandemic has also shown us that people appreciate and expect our cities to become safer, cleaner and accessible to all. During this week and beyond, our partner cities from all around Europe will show how greener and more digital European towns and cities could look,” EC Commissioner for Transport Adina Vălean declared.
Additionally, in partnership with the campaign, the European network of road traffic police forces (ROADPOL) is organising a new campaign for road safety – the ROADPOL Safety Days. National police forces will record the number of road fatalities, tomorrow, 17 September, in hopes that increased awareness of safety issues will result in zero deaths on the day.
“Zero-emission mobility for all”, the theme for this year’s European Mobility Week, not only reflects the European Green Deal’s ambitious targets for a carbon-neutral continent by 2050, but also the often overlooked importance of accessibility to zero-emission transport.
Last year, 3,131 towns and cities took part in the Mobility Week.