Image by Elli Kokoliou
The CIVITAS Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) held its fifth Official Meeting in Vari Voula Vouliagmeni, Greece from 5-6 May 2022. The municipality is home to PAC Vice-Chair, Grigoris Konstantellos. All PAC members attended in person, however, the meeting was organised in a hybrid format, to allow the participation of representatives from the European Commission and other guest speakers who attended parts of the meeting.
The first day of the meeting focused on recent developments and priorities for the European cities in terms of urban sustainable mobility (in particular the Mission “100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030” and the New Urban Mobility Framework), followed by an open discussion between PAC members and Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director General at DG MOVE, and Isabelle Vandoorne, Deputy Head of Unit at DG MOVE. PAC members had also the opportunity to get to know the Covenant of Mayor's initiative, which was presented by Eugenia Mansutti on behalf of their secretariat. This was followed by a brainstorming session on possible synergies and cooperation possibilities between the two groups.
PAC members later held a working group session focused on Mind Shift and Behavioural Change from the Customer's Point of View, which is the topic of the upcoming PAC statement. The Committee exchanged views and shared cases from their cities, demonstrating great enthusiasm to prepare a guide that can be timeless and help other cities induce such a change towards more sustainable urban mobility. The document will also include some recommendations for national and European bodies on how they can support cities to successfully attain these objectives.
The meeting also included a presentation on the SUMP Topic Guide on Planning for Attractive Public Transport, where PAC members were asked to participate in the open consultation that is currently ongoing.
Part of the meeting agenda addressed some practical internal questions regarding the PAC work for the months ahead, as well as the handover process for the next mandate.
PAC members also had the opportunity to discover the urban mobility infrastructure in Vari Voula Vouliagmeni thanks to multiple site visits. One highlight was the visit to the Vouliagmeni square and local micromobility hub, where PAC members were able to test out the sustainable mobility options offered by the municipality, such as bikes, e-bikes, electric cars and charging points.
The PAC members will meet again at the Urban Mobility Days 2022 conference, during which time the handover meeting for the PAC mandate 2022-2024 will take place.
Image by Ana Aleixo
Author: Ana Aleixo