Curtain raised for the European Green Capital 2012

Vitoria-Gasteiz kicked off its programme as European Green Capital 2012 with the local biennial conference of the National Congress of the Environment in Spain that focused on the challenges of sustainable mobility in times of crisis.

The conference of the National Congress of the Environment in Spain (CONAMA) addresses the major themes around the debate on environment and sustainability. This year, the event was held in Vitoria-Gasteiz from 29 November to 1 December, 2011. In a dedicated technical session of this meeting, Juan Carlos Escudero, director of the Environmental Studies Centre of the Municipality of Vitoria-Gasteiz (CEA), presented mobility strategies that are being developed in Vitoria-Gasteiz and the role of the CIVITAS Initiative in implementing the Sustainable Mobility and Public Space Plan in the city. In different formats (technical sessions, workshops, round table discussions and networking coffee) politicians, technicians and business men presented their views and their experiences to move towards sustainable mobility. The scientific and technical committees of the fifth CONAMA Local have worked on the ideas identified in a pre-conference meeting and the issues raised during the conference. Based on this, they have compiled the Declaration of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Green Capital 2012. The declaration states that it is necessary and urgent to continue the city's efforts to: Promote land and urban planning and development to respond to social needs and to the challenge of reducing the ecological footprint of our cities; avoiding indiscriminate occupation of land and recovering a cohesive and diverse urban fabric. Promote sustainable mobility and accessibility for all in our cities while minimising the harmful effects derived from transport (and the infrastructure transport systems require) such as air pollution, noise, congestion and the fragmentation of the urban fabric. Move towards healthy cities with facilities and services that promote proximity, where the public space assumes its full dimension as an element of social relationship.

Author: Roberto Gonzalez Argote

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