The GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy Efficiency organized the Meeting on sustainable urban mobility in Berlin, Germany from April 25 to 26. It featured an official signing of the Letter of intent on sustainable urban mobility by representatives of SEE capital cities.
The meeting brought together mayors and city representatives from South-East Europe SEE and the EU, including representatives of the GIZ, the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, Berlin Senate Department for Urban Development and Housing, the Berlin Transport Company (BVG) and many more.
The focus of the meeting was on transfer of knowledge and best practices from EU to SEE. The highlight of the gathering was the agreement of SEE capital cities of Sarajevo, Podgorica, Skopje, Tirana, Pristina to join forces for effective implementation of the regional initiative on sustainable urban mobility.
“The intention is to develop and launch a regional project on sustainable urban mobility, in collaboration with capital cities and other large SEE cities as partners”, Joachim Gaube, the ORF-EE Sector Fund Manager said. He further noted that the German cities Berlin and Freiburg i.Br., including the Croatian city of Zagreb, would act as model cities within this project.
EU Clean Transport Best Practices Transfer to SEE Cities
The meeting served as an opportunity for presentation of successful models of sustainable urban mobility of EU cities, which could potentially be transferred to cities in SEE or on which these cities could build on.
Dubravka Bošnjak, ORF-EE Project Manager stressed the need for the development of energy efficient, sustainable and green transport solutions in the region by building on successful practices from the EU. She further added “such practices include the Peer to Peer approach, city-to-city collaboration, mentoring, etc., all in line with the EU 2030 Energy Strategy, and the UN Sustainable Development Goals – in particular Goal 11 referring to Sustainable Cities and Communities.”
Deputy Mayor of the City of Podgorica, Časlav Vešović used the opportunity to highlight that “the aim to implement sustainable transport solutions in SEE should become imperative, not only in influencing the reduction of traffic jams, but also in inspiring a mindset change in citizens leading to less polluted and less noisy cities, and healthier lives.”
Knowing that cities are places of high concentration of economic activity and very complex spatial structures, that are supported by transport systems, the Berlin event also demonstrated GIZ ORF-EE´s dedication to provide crucial support to SEE cities in their efforts to orient themselves towards energy efficient, sustainable and clean transport solutions. Mayor Koce Trajanovski of the City of Skopje added on the occasion that he was very pleased about this new regional initiative and valuable exchange.
Urban productivity is highly dependent on the efficiency of the public transport system for movement of labor, freight and consumers between different locations. The larger the city the greater the challenge. Therefore, the regional project intends to build on previous ORF-EE projects and relevant experiences in the attempt to conquer the SEE region´s urban mobility issues through knowledge and best practice exchange, including through capacity building activities which would help the cities create and implemented own successful sustainable urban mobility models.