The whole of the CIVITAS Community was represented at last week’s Urban Mobility Days, which took place in Seville, Spain. From the ‘Meet the CIVITAS Community’ session to the AGORA sessions, where market-ready solutions developed within CIVITAS projects were presented during lively coffee breaks, the CIVITAS projects, national networks and members joined forces with policymakers, local authorities, academics, NGOs, urban transport practitioners from all over Europe to push the sustainable mobility agenda.
The main programme ranged from the challenge of transforming urban logistics to creating safe public spaces for children to urban air mobility, all highlighting the importance of focussing on urban spaces as well as a cross-sectoral approach to mobility planning.
Commissioner Vălean attends the Urban Mobility Days
In her opening speech, Commissioner Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, emphasised the importance of digitalisation and how the future of urban mobility depends on the integration of smart technologies into sustainable transport solutions:
“Because of the power of technology and innovation, I envision a seamless combination of both public and private means of transportation. Innovations such as autonomous vehicles, intelligent traffic management systems, and digital transportation platforms are already here and are the way forward.”
During her attendance at the event, Commissioner Vălean also took the time to visit some of the project stands at the exhibition area, including the CIVITAS Initiative, where she spoke to CIVITAS coordinator Ana Dragutescu (ICLEI Europe), together with Lucia Cristea (EIP), Ilie Bricicaru (Infrastructure Transportation-Road Safety Engineering Consultant) and Violeta Mihalache (CIVINET Romania Secretariat), about the importance of local networks for moving mobility forward.
EU Declaration on Cycling
Another highlight that took place during the Urban Mobility Days in Seville, was the adoption of the European Declaration on Cycling by the European Commission. The Declaration recognises cycling as ‘one of the most sustainable, accessible and inclusive, low-cost and healthy forms of transport and recreation, and its key importance for European society and the economy’ and encompasses 36 commitments that ‘aim to unleash the full potential of cycling in the EU’.
The European Year of Skills
With 2023 being the European Year of Skills, a specific focus was also placed the on knowledge and skills that mobility practitioners need, to engage with all stakeholders to enable a transparent and effective transition of our urban spaces into liveable cities and towns with sustainable transport infrastructure.
From movement to place
A key message reflected throughout the event, including in the closing session with CIVITAS rapporteurs, was that mobility is not only about mobility. Mobility planning encompasses much more than just movement; it covers topics such as physical and digital infrastructure, energy, regulation, funding and finance. Above all, it is about the quality of life in our urban spaces.