The 2016 European sustainable urban mobility awards went to Swedish city Malmö and Belgian capital Brussels.
Malmö received the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Award 2016. The award recognizes the city’s progress in bringing about behavior change in urban mobility by promoting active travel and giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, to make its city center safer and more attractive to local residents, Malmö turned a major shopping street into a car-free zone. A new bike-sharing system that offers 500 bicycles at 50 stations has been created. To raise awareness of economic benefits of sustainable transport, Malmö established successful partnership with local businesses and took measures to strengthen dialogue and public communication.
Transport is responsible for around a quarter of all EU's greenhouse gas emissions and is a major cause of air pollution and related health problems in urban areas.
The capital of Belgium Brussels became a winner of the 5th award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning, which rewards local authorities for developing a mobility plan that tackles different transport needs of people and businesses and, at the same time, improves quality of life. The award recognizes achievements of Brussels in the area of urban freight.
Brussels developed a strategic plan for freight transport that integrates well within the mobility strategy. The city’s growing population increases the demand for urban freight transport needed to supply the city with goods. The main goal of Brussels is to reduce the negative impact of freight such as congestion, use of the already scarce public space, noise and emissions. To develop a plan for freight transport, Brussels used comprehensive approach to identify problems, find opportunities and then select the most relevant measures. Brussels also supports private sector initiatives that aim to improve urban freight movement.
European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, who presented the awards at the ceremony held in Brussels, said, "I'm inviting cities to come on-board and work with us, to help Europe meet its ambitious climate objectives. I would like to congratulate this year's finalists who showed that greener and smarter urban mobility is already possible. I was particularly impressed by the long-term strategies developed by Malmö to encourage active travel and by Brussels on sustainable freight. I hope they can inspire many others.”
"Our quality of life in cities means getting from A-to-B quickly, but also breathing clean air and enjoying quiet and uncongested streets. Brussels and Malmö have both shown in their own innovative ways that it is possible to make progress. I congratulate both of them," added Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella.
by Natalie Myhalnytska
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