EU Awards to honour cities at forefront of sustainable mobility.
The European Commission announced the six finalists in two awards focused on raising awareness of and developing sustainable and environmentally-friendly approaches to mobility.European Commissioners Siim Kallas and Janez Potočnik will present the winners of both awards with their prizes at a joint awards ceremony in Brussels, Belgium (Théâtre du Vaudeville) on 6 March.
The European Mobility Week (EMW) Award scheme rewards the local authority deemed to have done the most in raising public awareness of sustainable mobility issues and implementing measures to achieve a shift towards sustainable urban transport. The winning city is chosen by an independent panel of transport experts who assess all eligible applications and shortlist 10 local authorities which they consider to have performed outstandingly well. The winning city will be awarded the chance to work with a professional production company to film a three-minute promotional clip highlighting its achievements. Together with the other finalists and shortlisted cities, the winning city will also be promoted as an example of best practice. In 2012 the EMW Award saw 30 applications from 15 countries.
The annual Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) Award will be presented to cities and regions that show excellence in developing and implementing their sustainable urban mobility plans. SUMPs are devised by local authorities and define measures to tackle the urban mobility challenges of both today and the future. In 2012, the thematic focus of the Award was on ‘stakeholder and citizen participation.’ The winning local authority is selected by an expert jury on the basis of the Award’s evaluation and eligibility criteria, and rewarded with EUR 10 000 to support local awareness-raising activities on sustainable urban mobility. The 2012 SUMP Award attracted 29 applications from 12 countries.
The three finalists vying for the first SUMP Award are:
- Aberdeen (UK)
- Ljutomer (Slovenia)
- Toulouse (France)
With around 80 % of European citizens now living in towns or cities, issues such as urban liveability and the efficiency of the transport choices we make on a daily basis are of utmost importance. As such, European cities are leading the way in the effort to incorporate a greater focus on sustainability in urban mobility plans and awareness-raising activities.
Never having set foot in Aberdeen I am unable to pass judgement on what, as a city, it is like – and that, anyway, is neither here nor there where this possible “award” is concerned.
Initially, the cynic in me thinks that this may be yet another sop thrown toward the UK with a view to cementing the idea that to leave the EU would be a bad move.
However leaving that aside, where the national government may be “dragging its heels” in implementing aspects of the EU’s environment policy or may be meeting intense opposition from various groups or areas; what better way to circumvent said national government than by bribing that nation’s cities?
Taking into account inflation and the fact the currency involved is considered shortly to be virtually worthless, I suppose that
Barabbas Aberdeen, should it win, will be similarly grateful.