• European Mobility Week 2016, 16-22 September, “Smart mobility, Strong economy”
- European Mobility Week 2016, 16-22 September, “Smart mobility, Strong economy”
VG 09 09 16
As of now, a total of 15 municipalities in the Basque Country have joined the European Mobility Week 2016 to encourage healthy mobility habits that are environmentally respectful for their citizens. The sustainable mobility campaign, led by the European Union with all member countries, will be held from the 16 to the 22 of September. The Vitoria-Gasteiz and Bilbao streetcars and the San Sebastian train will bear the motto selected by the European Union, "Smart mobility, Strong economy."
Along with the Basque country, Basauri, Beasain, Bilbao, Donostia-San Sebastian, Durango, Ermua, Errenteria, Galdakao, Getxo, Laudio, Ordizia, Sopuerta, Tolosa, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zalla, in Udalsarea21, are some of the municipalities that will be participating in the European Mobility Week with different initiatives to promote a shift toward zero-emissions urban logistics in urban hubs, and to change citizens' mobility habits. These municipalities make up 5% of the total in Spain that have joined this European campaign as of now.
According to the Basque Government's Minister of the Environment and Territorial Policy, Ana Oregi, "the campaign organised by the European Commission for this year, with the slogan "Smart Mobility. Strong economy," will be focused on sustainable mobility's positive impact on the economy, while the advantages obtained with greater use of public transport and sustainable transport methods, such as bicycles, are not only economic in nature, but also have an impact on quality of life and health for citizens."
The purpose of the European Mobility Week is to activate a forum for citizens to reflect on mobility and how to use streets in urban hubs, providing specific solutions to address challenges such as air pollution, health problems and more.
The 15 Basque municipalities participating in the EMW 2016 have followed one of the three participation criteria: organising a week of activities, implementing at least one permanent measure that contributes to sustainable mobility and scheduling, preferably the 22 September, a Car-Free Day, reserving one or several different areas for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.
The activities are suitable for all kinds of audiences. In this way, Galdakao will be organising a special second-hand bicycle and sustainable mobility market the 24 September, and municipalities such as Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz will be holding bicycle rides that all citizens may join.
On the other hand, Durango Town Hall will be awarding the Biziklearte prize, a contest to carry out an artistic intervention under the European Mobility Week 2015, to raise awareness on issues regarding sustainable mobility.
In regards to implementing permanent measures to contribute to sustainable mobility, Ermua has installed lifts on the street to make elevated areas in the municipality better accessible, and Ordizia has created a new bus stop in the Altamira quarter, the furthest quarter from the municipality's urban hub.
Bilbao, San Sebastian, Durango, Getxo and Vitoria-Gasteiz are joining the "Car-Free Day", shutting down some of their streets to traffic to celebrate the EMW 2016. These municipalities are golden participants, since they are carrying out actions that fall under all three of the criteria. This means that they are eligible for the European Mobility Week Award, held in Brussels, with the European Commissioner for Transport.