In 2021, the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE hosted most of its activities in a hybrid format, and a small portion of them online, thanks to limitations caused by COVID. Event activities included three webinars, a General Assembly and round table in Šibenik, the CIVINET Forum, a study tour in Belgrade and a two-day workshop in Zadar. Key topics during the events included clean vehicles, rural mobility and parking measures within SUMP. Collaboration with the cities where these events took place, but also other cooperating organizations and projects, was of importance during the preparation of events.
In regards to network membership, the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE welcomed some new members in 2021. It continues to be the largest CIVINET network, with more than 200 members, including 73 cities. At the beginning of 2021, the City of Zagreb became a new coordinator of the Network, as a continuation of the successful work of previous coordinators Ljubljana and Rijeka. Also, an Academic Committee was established within Network, which gathers professors from faculties of all six countries. The aim is to establish better coordination, provide expert assistance to the Network and its members and prepare joint projects.
The network discovered that webinars seem to be a particularly useful communication and event format for gathering many participants from a variety of countries who are interested in specific topics. It is foreseen that more webinars will take place in the future.
One webinar addressed the topic COVID-19 as a catalyst for change in sustainable transport planning. More than 130 participants listened to inspiring presentations given by EU experts on how various European cities reacted to “lockdown” caused by COVID-19 and how changes, like road space reallocation, can be implemented quickly. The webinar provided ideas for the potential take-up of measures in participants' cities.
A second webinar focused on clean vehicles and innovative technologies in sustainable transport planning. It gathered transport stakeholders from cities, young professionals and members of Academic Committee to share their knowledge and experience on the topic of clean fuels and new technologies in traffic planning.
A third webinar addressed the issue of sustainable mobility in rural areas. The topic of rural mobility and interurban connections is rather new for the network, so the aim was to get acquainted with the theme that will be certainly discussed in the future.
The 8th annual general assembly of the network CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE and the round table “Measures for sustainable urban mobility in touristic destinations” were held in Šibenik in June 2021. The meeting, which was held in a hybrid form, gathered members and other mobility stakeholders from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. The meetings of the Governing Board, Policy Committee and newly established Academic Committee were also held. The guidelines in the form of a policy statement for 2022 were adopted.
The City of Belgrade hosted the 6th CIVINET Forum and a study tour for the members of the Network. The Forum brought together some 60 representatives of cities, experts, academia and more from Slovenia, Croatia, B&H, Montenegro and North Macedonia. Belgrade's Chief City Planner and Assistant Minister for Civil Engineering, Transport and Infrastructure opened the Forum. Dialogue during the Forum focused specifically on the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures within the scope of ensuring accessibility to vulnerable road users, like children, cyclists and those with limited mobility. Other discussion topics included road traffic electrification with a focus on decarbonization, parking policy issues and micro-sustainable mobility.
A two-day workshop about parking policies and measures for sustainable urban mobility was held in Zadar, in cooperation with the Park4SUMP project. This in-person event attracted city and regional government representatives from Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those who work in the transport and spatial planning sector had the opportunity to learn about parking management and include it as a measure in their SUMP or other traffic plans.
Representatives of the CIVINET Secretariat participated at other relevant events, like the CIVITAS Forum held in Aachen, Germany. Between the sessions, the Secretariat connected with other CIVINETs.
During 2021, 13 e-bulletins were sent to the CIVINET members and other stakeholders in six countries containing relevant information such as Network and member activities, calls for proposals and examples of good practice from European cities.
Author: the Network for Sustainable Urban Mobility CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE