Ljubljana cops top honours at this year's European Mobility Week AwardsCentral Europe made an impressive showing in Brussels last week, with Ljubljana taking home the European Mobility Week Award for the second time (having won in 2003), with another former winner, Budapest, tying with Ostersund, Sweden, for the runner-up position. European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potocnik presented the top award to fellow Slovene Jelka Zekar, the proud vice mayor of a "green, clean, safe and friendly city".
Over the years, the Slovenian capital has introduced a bike-sharing scheme, carried out the progressive pedestrianisation of city streets and launched sustainable mobility schemes. Not only has the city embraced the European Mobility Week theme at local government level, it is also encouraging its citizens to do the same: and with impressive results. The 2013 campaign involved 29 primary schools and 16 kindergartens in more than 250 separate events focused on clean air.
The runners-up also attended the event. Budapest, the 2008 winner, is continuing to expand its public transportation system with a new metro line and the purchase of 150 environmentally friendly buses. Eva Szerencsi, Hungary's national coordinator for European Mobility Week, remarked that the campaign is "dedicated to serving the citizens' interests", adding that there has been an impressive rise in the number of participating towns and cities in recent years.
The 2014 European Mobility Week campaign focuses on the relationship between land use and quality of life. Under the slogan "Our streets, our choice", citizens and local authorities will be encouraged to re-evaluate the way in which urban space is prioritised.
European Mobility Week is made possible through the cooperative efforts of the REC, the European Secretariat of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) and Directorate-General for the Environment.