Goal of the workshop was to inform participants about European programs and initiatives related to sustainable urban mobility as well as about participation of Belarus cities in European Mobility Week, and also to discuss perspectives and opportunities for integration of urban plans with transport plans with the support of Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) Guidelines.
Particularly, in 2015 Belarus cities for the first time joined European Mobility Week and currently both, coordinators of EMW in Belarus, and non-governmental organizations – partners of the official bodies, plan to expand this with participation of new cities in the EMW. Representatives of the Ministry of transport and the Ministry of natural environment protection pointed out importance of introduction of sustainability and energy efficiency principles in transport policy, particularly for provision of comfort and safety in the cities, improvement of environmental situation and climate change mitigation.
What is sustainable urban mobility, its features and qualities, trends and achievements of Belarus cities in introduction of new approaches, was presented by Valentina Leonchik, first deputy head of BTU, ideologist and engine of sustainable urban mobility in Belarus, who in fact initiated this workshop.
Jerome Simpson, representative of Regional Environmental Center (REC), Hungary, lead expert of the Smart Cities and Mobility Program presented information about European Mobility Week, being a globally wide campaign, organized and held since 2002 with the goal of raising attention around issues of mobility in the cities and improvement of quality of life and health of urban inhabitants by shift of the urban space distribution towards increase of the share of pedestrian mobility, cycling and public transport. This year EMW theme is “Smart Mobility. Strong Economy” and cities-participants of EMW will build their permanent infrastructure measures and EMW week of activities around this theme.
Mr. Simpson also presented main trends of sustainable mobility, namely cargo bikes, which can cover up to 70% of all cargo rides in the city, and explained about the CIVITAS program, which is active in Europe since 2002 as well, with purpose to provide support to cities in changes of transport policies and implementation of activities for better and cleaner transport, particularly through introduction of innovations, which transform transport in the cities into more eco-friendly. Mr. Simpson also mentioned, that currently in the CIVITAS network there is no Belarus city, and invited participants to the cooperation in this program.
Our representative, Nataliya Voloshyn, presented Ukrainian situation regarding evolution of sustainable urban mobility issues in the country, main success factors of this process, among which work of EMW national coordinator for Ukraine, since 2010; active participation of Ukrainian cities in EMW; work of Kyiv Cyclist Association in the promotion of cycling, creation of bicycle infrastructure, changes in construction norms and building of policy dialogue in cities of Ukraine and at national level; Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning Guidelines in Ukrainian language and training seminars for municipality experts held for two years based on this document; support of sustainable mobility issues by international donor organizations and programs; examples of Ukrainian cities in elaboration of new sustainable urban transport plans, namely Vinnytsya city, which is considered to be a pioneer in integrated spatial and urban transport development planning.
There were many interesting speakers and topics at the seminar in Minsk, namely: Polina Vardevanyan, senior lecturer of the urban development at Belarus National Technical University and expert of BTU, with the presentation “Recommendations for sustainable urban mobility planning: Make city comfortable for living”; Hans-Werner Franz, advisor of executive director of the Transport Association of Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB), ex-president of the European Transport Association of Capital Cities (ЕМТА) with the presentation “Mobility Management in Capital Cities: best practices”; Elena Anfimova, International Road Transport Union (IRU), secretary of the working group “Smart Move” in Eurasia with presentation of Smart Move campaign and recommendations on public transport development as a basis of sustainable mobility; Vyacheslav Durnov, head of Novopolotsk municipality presenting Novopolotsk EMW participation experience; Vladimir Prishchepov, head of road network department in Minskgrado, expert of BTU with the presentation “General Plan and integrated transport network of Minsk. Priority of rail transport development”.
We are looking forward future cooperation with colleagues from Belarus and European countries in knowledge and experience exchange on issues of sustainable urban mobility planning.
Participation of FORZA representative in the seminar became possible thanks to financial support of Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Ukraine, Norway Grants and Government Office of the Slovak Republic within the project "EMW - Carpathian Network", Eurasian office of International Road Transport Union (IRU) and Belarus Support Program of German Federal Government.