The Albanian capital Tirana, a city of half a million, on April 23 hosted a workshop on sustainable urban mobility, which has a pivotal role in fighting climate change. The workshop brought together MPs and parliamentary staff from Albania and Montenegro, building on the previous regional exchange events supported by the GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy Efficiency (ORF-EE).
The event was co-organized by the Albanian Academy of Political Studies and the Montenegrin School of Political Studies, with the support of the GIZ ORF-EE. Aljaž Plevnik of Slovenia’s Urban Planning Institute, a GIZ ORF-EE-engaged expert, presented the sustainable urban mobility planning concept and resources and tools for the development and implementation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).
Delivering a welcome address, Niko Peleshi, Chairman of the Albanian Parliament’s Committee on Productive Activity, Trade, and Environment, said that Albania and Montenegro face common challenges on their European integration paths, while sustainable urban mobility planning needs to be brought closer to parliamentarians to provide them with “the knowledge and expertise needed to exercise our role as lawmakers, but also to exert positive incentives for central and local institutions in sustainable planning.”
Peleshi recalled that the committee has initiated various activities to actively engage MPs in the drafting of legislation concerning energy, transport, and the environment, noting that he expects the same positive experiences in the urban mobility sector and intense legislation drafting to guide the two countries’ cities on the path of sustainability.
Aleksandar Damjanović, Chairman of the Parliament of Montenegro’s Committee on Economy, Finance, and Budget, an independent MP and a member of Informal Green MP Group, highlighted the importance of training on urban mobility as a topic that transcends the differences between political opponents within the Green MP Group.
“Sustainable urban mobility is something that each citizen should care about, notwithstanding the area they live in,” said Damjanović, adding that urban mobility has a huge impact on the quality of life of all citizens.
GIZ ORF-EE Regional Project Manager Jasna Sekulović stated that the event is part of the GIZ ORF-EE project activities which stimulate regional cooperation among parliamentarians on the topics of sustainable urban mobility, energy efficiency, and climate mitigation, with the aim of positioning these topics higher on the political agenda.
“The event bilaterally organized by two partner organizations, two political schools form Albania and Montenegro, proves that all the previously organized regional events and study trips brought closer the parliamentarians of different countries of the region in dealing with these topics,” Sekulović said.
The GIZ ORF-EE is also providing direct support to the City of Tirana in developing a SUMP until April 2020. The first working group meeting was held on 16-17 April 2019 in Tirana in which an operational plan and overview of activities were discussed with partners from different departments, such as transport planning as well as urban planning of the City of Tirana.
The similar support in preparation of the SUMP GIZ ORF EE has provided for the City of Podgorica, where this process started a month ago.
The Open Regional Fund for South East Europe – Energy Efficiency is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).