EU Mobility Week Awards reward cities’ road safety measures around schools

Cities’ innovative ideas to make the roads safer for children and young people are once again recognised in the latest European mobility awards.

Large and small municipalities were rewarded for their efforts in tackling vehicle emissions – a leading cause of child respiratory illnesses – noise and congestion.

The winners of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards, the 10th award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning and the EU Urban Road Safety Award were all highlighted at a ceremony in Brussels.

It runs from 16-22 September every year, providing towns and cities with an opportunity to try out innovative planning measures, promote new infrastructure and technologies and measure air quality. Despite the COVID-19 restrictions in 2021, the latest awards saw a record-breaking level of participation – around 3,100 towns and cities across 53 countries participated in the campaign.

Kassel in Germany won the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2021 for larger municipalities, impressing the jury with its policies which have united local and regional transport providers to encourage both children and adults to change their behaviour.

Awards organisers said that Kessel had ‘put its best foot forward in organising activities ranging from a treasure hunt for the campaign’s mascot, to the organisation of accessible cycling and walking tours. It also put in place various permanent measures that impact directly on children’s lives, including road safety signs near schools and the the renovation of two busy streets to help promote cycling. Other finalists in the category were Amadora (Portugal) and Lüleburgaz (Turkey).

‘We will support better planning of sustainable urban mobility’

Valongo in Portugal came out top in the smaller municipalities category, largely for its focus on involving local people and organisations, especially schools. Their outstanding participation rate reflected the success of their plans, with people taking part in surveys and fitness classes. Other finalists were Alimos (Greece) and Miajadas (Spain).

Tampere in Finland was the winner of the 10th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning. Its wide-ranging work has included impact assessments on the effect of mobility campaigns on the local populations, essentially gauging just how seriously take these issues. The city’s mobility and education departments meanwhile are testing pilot schemes such as enabling school trips to be done by bicycle, scooter or on foot, rather than just vehicles. Madrid and Mitrovica South (Kosovo) were the other finalists.

The EU Urban Road Safety Award went to Rethymno in Greece, for its inclusive approach to road safety, targeting three main areas: upgrading public transport systems, encouraging behavioural change, and working with other stakeholders. It has also worked hard to help others replicate its road safety measures by sharing its experience and lessons learned with fellow municipalities. Florence and Warsaw were the other finalists.

Adina Vālean, European Commissioner for Transport, said: “I would like to extend my congratulations to the winners as well as all finalists. These cities have taken concrete actions to tackle transport emissions, noise and congestion through innovative actions. With the new EU Urban Mobility Framework, we will support better planning of sustainable urban mobility, putting public transport, walking and cycling at the core of local authorities’ efforts to improve people’s everyday lives.”

Click here for more information on the week and awards.

Author: Simon Weedy

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