Impressions of the European Mobility Week 2019 in Western Balkan Countries

The European Mobility Week 2019 in the Western Balkan countries left great impressions. While cities and towns of the region have been experiencing an increase of individual traffic and, along with that, of congestion, accidents, noise and air pollution, innovative approaches of sustainable and climate-friendly mobility had long been missing.

The European Mobility Week is an annual initiative of the European Commission for Sustainable Urban Mobility. The campaign is looking for ways to influence mobility and urban transport, as well as to improve public health and quality of life.

In the Western Balkan regions, under their SUMSEEC II project, the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy Efficiency, together with national associations of municipalities, supported the participation in the EMW 2019. In 23 municipalities and the six capitals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, citizens and local leaders explored their streets and experimented with transport innovations.

The city of Kruševac in Serbia even received a nomination for the European Mobility Week Awards 2019 as a prime example of engagement. Underpinned by strong citizen participation, their wide range of activities had included the redesign of public spaces, the removal of parking places, and the creation of urban parks.

One core activity of the European Mobility Week, the mayors of the six capitals of the region served as Sustainable Urban Mobility Ambassadors. In an online conference, the mayors or their representatives shared experiences and the capitals’ best practices of urban mobility. Each of them struggling with individual issues such as air pollution, they all picked up the 2019 theme of safe walking and cycling:

  • “By hiking and biking, we will become a role model for the future generation! That’s the least we can do for our planet, Earth!” (Shpend Amheti, Mayor of Prishtina)
  • “Let’s use as less vehicles harming environment as possible. Let’s walk, ride bikes […]! Green mission for ecological Tirana!” (Erion Veliaj, Mayor of Tirana)
  • As a follow-up, a video produced by GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy Efficiency captures the enthusiasm and broad participation of citizens and local leaders. It serves as both a souvenir and inspiration for new urban mobility ideas and activities.

 

Click here for a video on last year’s activities for sustainable urban mobility in the Western Balkans.

Contact: Julia Nagel

The project on Sustainable Urban Mobility in South-East European Countries (SUMSEEC II) is implemented by the GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy Efficiency and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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Photoproduction by Villa Hills

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