Cities from Portugal, Sweden and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia have made it through to become finalists for the European Mobility Award 2016.
Lisbon, Malmö and Skopje were chosen from a longlist of 63 applications from some 23 countries.
The award – which will be presented Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on 20 March – is specifically intended to reward cities and local authorities that have involved the public in their schemes, and engaged stakeholders with strong communication.
The three finalists have different strengths. Lisbon won through to the final three due to its focus on making public spaces available and safe for pedestrians.
Skopje’s innovative car-pooling service has helped residents save money while helping the environment, and Malmö for building on its traditionally strong cycling infrastructure.
A total of 2,427 towns and cities from across the EU either attended the European Mobility Week back in September in Brussels, or organised events along its theme of ‘Smart and Sustainable Mobility’. The finalists were announced on Tuesday (21 February.)
The awards come against the backdrop of the European Accesibility Act, which will place a commitment on transport providers to improve both the heavy infrastructure of urban transport for people with disabilities or restricted movement, and also the ‘soft’ options of ticketing, check-ins and timetabling.
The longlist of cities vying for the prize included Bialystok in Poland, Krusevac in Serbia, Palma (Spain), Prague, Sofia, Samos (Greece) and Valencia (Spain).
Also being awarded in March is the SUMP prize – Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning – which is more focussed on freight transport and sustainability, whilst improving the environment and helping business.
The three finalists there are: Brussels, for innovative logistics, Budapest for incorporating freight into an overall mobility strategy and Stockholm, for stimulating the local economy whilst limiting adverse impacts from freight.
With 70% of the EU population living in cities, and some 85% of EU GDP originating in cities and urban conglomerations, the point of the prizes is to share best practices, as well as reward innovators.
The longlist for the SUMP prize included Berlin, Naples, Piatra Neamt (Romania) and Rotterdam.