This week the European Mobility Week has been launched. Watch out for car-free streets, walking tours and interactive workshops as
European Mobility Week comes to towns and cities across Europe from 16-22 September. From this Wednesday, the clean and sustainable transport campaign will see thousands of towns and cities from over 40 countries hosting their own events, shining a spotlight on the importance of zero-emission mobility for all. This is the 19th year of
European Mobility Week and its well-known car-free day, when streets close for motorised traffic and open for pedestrians, cyclists, hoverboarders, e-scooter riders and more!
EU Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean said: “This year is a big challenge for our towns and cities. But the pandemic also showed 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.”
In parallel, and in cooperation with European Mobility Week, the European network of road traffic police forces (ROADPOL) is organising a new campaign for road safety – the ROADPOL Safety Days (previously ‘Project EDWARD’). As part of the campaign, national police forces will record the number of road deaths on 17 September, aiming for zero deaths on that day. Public events will highlight the role that every road-user can play in avoiding fatalities, as well as the importance of traffic police in enforcing the rules and working towards the EU’s ‘Vision Zero’ – zero road deaths and serious injuries on European roads by 2050.
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Initiatives across Europe
European Mobility Week provides an opportunity for local governments across Europe (and beyond) to enable residents to test out active mobility modes and discover the benefits of sustainable forms of transport.
This year, Essen (Germany) will launch the city’s first sidewalk extension (or parklet), and will organise workshops on road safety and sustainable mobility, examining for example how local businesses can become bicycle-friendly employers. In addition, the city will launch a new e-charging station, and will install smart lamp posts.
Lahti (Finland) will celebrate the week with guided walking tours, workshops and seminars on the importance of sustainable mobility. A clean-up day will be organised, where residents are encouraged to get together clear litter from public areas around the city.
Cesena (Italy) will use the week as an opportunity to seek feedback from local residents on their new sustainable urban mobility plan. In addition, the city will invite children to submit photographs and drawings, illustrating their experience of commuting in the city.
Girona (Spain) will hand out a free breakfast to reward those who cycle to work. In addition, the city will organise guided walking tours, workshops on bicycle safety and maintenance, an exhibition on electric and hybrid vehicles, and a film screening on sustainable mobility.
Gdańsk (Poland) is arranging bicycle trips to local monuments and attractions. During car-free day, residents owning a car will be able to access public transport for free.
The rail industry is also taking part in the European Mobility Week: for example, one of Saxony’s land transport authorities, theVerkehrsverbund Oberelbe (VVO) took test drives in the Dresden region with the first battery-powered electric train from Siemens. The VVO and Siemens Mobility displayed the innovative battery train in Dresden on 16 September at Dresden’s main train station, which was developed as the Ciyjet eco together with the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). A special presentation trip from Dresden to Königsbrück was carried out with invited guests.
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The VVO is currently investigating possible new propulsion systems for Railway lines on which diesel multiple units are currently operated. The investigations into the use of hydrogen or Battery trains are carried out by the Technical Universities of Dresden (TU Dresden) and Berlin (TU Berlin) and supported with the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Saxon State Ministry for Economy, Labor and Transport (SMWA).
Many small and medium-sized cities also take part in the European Mobility Week and offer test drives with e-scooters, e-scooters, city e-car sharing, bike sharing and public transport. Berlin (Germany) is also taking part in the international car-free day on September 22nd. Public transport users receive discounts on their tickets. In addition, 25 “play streets” will be set up in which carsr will be prohibited between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. The Berlin Senar already caused a stir at the end of August when the central Friedrichstrasse was completely closed to car traffic and turned into a bicycle and pedestrian zone. The pilot project is scheduled to last until January 2021.
Many cities in France even go a step further on 22 September. In Paris, among other cities, cars are not allowed to drive anywhere in the city between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
This year, in light of the pandemic, towns and cities have maximum flexibility when participating. Local authorities can register their events and permanent infrastructure initiatives as usual, but also their online alternatives and their short-term measures to help people move around safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures may include the temporary reallocation of road space to create pop-up bike lanes, or the introduction of speed restrictions.
Besides towns and cities, participation is warmly encouraged by others, including businesses, institutions, NGOs, schools and higher education institutions. All may register their MOBILITYACTION all year round.
Local authorities can apply for several awards in the context of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK:
- EU Urban Road Safety Award, rewarding local authorities for innovative measures to improve road safety. The call for applications is open from 29 September to 31 October 2020.
- EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards for local authorities that make significant efforts to promote sustainable urban mobility during the campaign. The application period is from 29 September to 31 October 2020.
- SUMP Award presented to local and regional authorities that have achieved excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMP). The deadline for applications is 31 October 2020.
Furhter information on the European Mobility Week can be found here: