Mobility Week: EU eyes less road-space for cars

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More than 1,500 cities will take part in the sixth edition of the annual European Mobility Week, which, under the theme ‘Streets For People’, aims to prove that reclaiming road space for pedestrians and cyclists can serve to cut congestion and pollution without reducing people’s mobility.

As part of its activities to combat climate change, boost economic growth and improve European citizens’ quality of life, the Commission is putting the onus on promoting more sustainable modes of transport, especially in Europe’s bustling metropolitan areas, home to 80% of the European population and where around 75% of journeys are made by car. 

As part of these efforts, the Commission has supported an annual Mobility Week since 2002, in partnership with EuroCitiesEnergie-Cités and Climate Alliance

This year’s edition will be held from 17 to 23 September 2007, under the theme ‘Streets For People’, to convey the message that “increasing road space for cars is not the answer to existing transport challenges” and that reallocating road space to non-motorised traffic “can represent a sustainable, efficient solution and also allows healthier lifestyles for all citizens without reducing individual mobility”. 

A whole host of activities and campaigns aimed at raising citizens’ awareness of the problems related to mobility, including road safety, congestion, pollution and accessibility, are scheduled during the week, with, as usual, the highlight being the International Car Free day on the 23rd. 

The Commission is also due to present proposals for a European strategy on urban transport in a Green Paper on 25 September 2007 (see LinksDossier) – although how much the EU can actually achieve in this field is still uncertain, as the subsidiarity principle requires that local authorities retain their power of decision on urban-transport matters. 

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