The Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SKGO) will organize a Car-Free Day in Towns and Municipalities in Serbia as part of European Mobility Week, taking place from September 16 to 22, and is inviting mayors to lead by example by cycling, walking, or using public transportation to go to work on September 21.
“The SKGO’s goal is to promote the sustainable urban mobility concept with local officials, as well as to help raise the awareness of citizens in cities and municipalities about the need to change local traffic habits in the future, in the sense of reducing the use of fossil fuels, while increasing the use of alternative means of transportation – a trend well under way in European capitals,” Klara Danilović, urban planning, housing, and construction advisor at the SKGO, told Balkan Green Energy News.
The SKGO expects that a number of cities and municipalities in Serbia will mark European Mobility Week. This also refers the City of Belgrade, which is preparing a series of activities, she said.
So far, the SKGO’s invitation to mark Car-Free Day has been accepted by mayors of Sombor, Niš, Šabac, Kruševac, and Kraljevo, as well as heads of the municipalities of Bela Palanka, Lapovo, Osečina, Batočina, Vrbas, Mionica, Preševo, Srbobran, Belgrade’s Stari Grad, and Niš’s Pantelej.
In Serbia, three towns have so far joined the official European Mobility Week campaign – Bela Palanka, Kruševac, and Pančevo, according to mobilityweek.eu. All three towns have pledged to organize a week of activities, taking into account the focal theme – Mix and Move! – to promote the idea of choosing different modes of transport to get around urban areas, in line with European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc’s call for 2018 to be the Year of Multimodality.
The three towns have also agreed to implement one or more new permanent measures which contribute to modal transfer from private car to environmentally sound means of transport, while Bela Palanka and Kruševac are also carrying out a Car-Free Day event by closing one or more streets to traffic and opening it to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport.
Towns and cities that carry out all three criteria – holding a week of activities, implementing permanent measures, and holding a Car-Free Day – will be designated as Golden Participants and become eligible to apply for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK Awards.
A total of 1,881 towns and cities have registered so far to take part in this year’s campaign. Last year, over 2,500 towns and cities across Europe participated in European Mobility Week, with results including 935 new or improved bicycle facilities, 755 pedestrianized areas, and 443 new forms of vehicle use and ownership.
Towns and cities taking part across the region
In Slovenia, a whopping 76 towns and cities are taking part in the European Mobility Week campaign, with seven towns and cities participating in Kosovo*, five in Croatia, and one in Macedonia.
Elsewhere in the region, Greece has a strong participation with 37 towns and cities, with 17 participating in Romania, 13 in Turkey, eight in Bulgaria, and two in Cyprus.