Mobility without burning fossil fuels brings healthier life in a clean environment. Today, on the central streets of Belgrade, citizens of all ages participated in numerous activities of the Car-free day.
A car-free day, bike festival, children’s shows, promotion of traffic safety with a car driving simulator, are just some of the activities of the rich programme of the main event of the European Mobility Week.
Nicola Bertolini, Head of Cooperation of the European Union Delegation to Serbia, said that this is one of the most important activities that humans can carry out, to revive their own space and their cities.
“The pandemic has reminded us how important health and mobility are. There is no going back. We are moving towards a joint green future. It is a good sign that Belgrade is highly positioned in the competition of green cities. We should turn to mobility as it is the path to a healthier, better future,” Bertolini emphasised.
Representatives of the EU Delegation, the Transport Community, the City of Belgrade and the UNDP actively participated in the event, visiting the stands and talking to the citizens. They paid special attention to the stands of the National Association of Autonomous and Electric Vehicles and the manufacturer of electric vehicles E-prime. The award ceremony for young participants in the Environmental Education Workshop was prepared by the EU Delegation to Serbia.
Matej Zakonjšek, Director of the Transport Community, pointed out that the European Mobility Week brings together cities around the world every year and makes them safer, cleaner and more accessible to everyone.
“This is particularly important during this year of many challenges. A healthy environment has never been more important, and we can all contribute towards one common goal by walking, using public transport and riding our bikes to work,” Zakonjšek said.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the European Mobility Week, under the slogan “Move sustainably. Stay healthy.” Around 3000 towns and cities from 50 countries will participate, and numerous interactive activities will be organised in Serbia in 26 cities and municipalities.
Francine Pickup, the UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia, reflected on the heat in June, with the temperature reaching 39 degrees at one point, which was the highest recorded temperature in the last 100 years.
“Cities emit a lot of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. In addition to the electricity needed for heat, the traffic in cities is the second pollutant when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions. That causes a rise in temperature and extreme natural disasters,” says Pickup.
Zoran Radojičić, Mayor of Belgrade, emphasised the importance of urban mobility.
“It is clear that the subject has become important not only in big cities but globally as well, for everyone. On the one hand, we have more and more cars, an increasing need for fast mobility, and on the other hand, we spend more resources and pollute the environment more and more,” Radojičić stated.
The winners of the “Sustainable Mobility for a Healthier Life” photo contest were given valuable vouchers for the purchase of an electric scooter, bicycle and roller skates. The first prize was secured by the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, while the second and third prizes were secured by UNDP. The photographs have been exhibited in Republic Square since the first day of Mobility Week.
This year’s European Mobility Week is taking place during the European Year of Rail, during which sustainable train travel will be promoted. One of the key elements of the European Green Deal is the introduction of greener and healthier forms of transport, given the fact that the transport sector is responsible for about 25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU.