Tag Archive: Sustainable Policy Making

  1. Powers to enact 30km/h low-speed zones demanded by over 260 German cities

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    Source: TheMayor.eu, D. Balgaranov

    Municipalities in Germany are unable to issue their own maximum speed laws, impacting the success of liveable city initiatives.

    In 2021, 7 German cities announced a new initiative, advocating for the right of municipalities to set their own speed limits. Since the founding cities of Aachen, Augsburg, Freiburg, Hanover, Leipzig, Münster, and Ulm sparked the conversation, 263 municipalities have declared their support.

    The ‘Liveable cities through appropriate speeds’ initiative focuses on the central right to enact 30km/h low-speed zones. The basis for this rests on the idea that liveability and quality of life are closely associated with public spaces and the interaction between motor and pedestrian traffic in these areas. Low-speed zones have been shown to reduce noise pollution, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide pollution and decrease the risk of fatal injuries in the areas they are enacted.

    The initiative’s four demands, signed off by mayors, city councilors responsible for mobility and urban development, and urban planning departments are:

    • A commitment to a turnaround in mobility (away from personal vehicles and towards other means of transportation) and quality of life measures in cities.
    • A 30km/h speed for motor vehicle traffic, including on main roads, is an integral part of a sustainable, city-wide mobility concept and a strategy for upgrading public spaces.
    • Petition the federal government to immediately create the legal prerequisites for municipalities to be able to order a maximum speed limit of 30 km/h where the municipalities deem necessary.
    • A funding model for research projects to determine the individual aspects, benefits, and effects of this regulation, to improve the application of this principle.
  2. EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2022 – registration and theme

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    Towns and cities are warmly invited to participate in EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, which takes place from 16-22 September each year. The theme for 2022 is ‘Better Connections’

    Registration is now open to the official local authority of towns or cities that may wish to participate.

    The registration portal can be found via the Mobility Week Website.

    Participating areas are encouraged to organize activities focusing on sustainable mobility, implement progressive transport measures, and host a ‘car-free day’.

    “The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2022 annual theme, ‘Better connections’, seeks to highlight and foster synergies between people and places that are offering their expertise, creativity, and dedication to raising awareness about sustainable mobility and promoting behavioral change in favor of active mobility, in addition to reaching out and making connections between existing groups and new audiences.”

    The five pillars of ‘Better connections’ are:

    • People
    • Places
    • Packages
    • Planning & Policy

    Download the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK thematic guidelines document here.

  3. CoMoUK – New developments and shared transport: cutting car dependency

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    Source: CoMoUK

    CoMoUK has released its latest research paper, discussing the underpowered and inconsistent approach to development in the UK in regard to shared transport and its potential to deliver sustainable mobility.

    CoMoUK plays a leading role in the UK’s transition to integrated mobility solutions designed for the public good. CoMoUK supports the development of shared modes including bikes, scooters, buses, and cars.

    The new paper, which can be accessed in full here, discusses the state of shared mode development in the UK. “There is widespread planning approval of schemes that lock in car dependency. Shared transport is often not included within scheme design at all, and elsewhere it is only included at a very small scale (e.g. a single car club vehicle). However, there are numerous developments that are being planned around the ability of sustainable transport, including shared options, to cut the need for parking spaces, improve place and air quality and deliver ‘gentle density.”

    The paper goes on to explore multiple case studies, including locations such as Exeter and Leeds, providing recommendations for the future and best practice guidelines. Key recommendations revolve around redefining planning policy, coordinating planning and transportation initiatives, and limitations on private car facilitations.

  4. Up to 900 euro sustainable mobility bonus for Brussels residents

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    Source: themayor.eu

    The revamped Bruxell’air mobility bonus will mobilize citizens in their transition towards sustainable mobility

    Brussels Capital Region authorities recently announced the return of their sustainable mobility bonus, titled Bruxell’air. Similar to many other European cities, this move is an attempt to de-carbonize urban travel in light of climate change and city building densification.

    The scheme offers a bonus of up to 900 euros to any citizen who cancels their car registration and applies for the bonus. The bonus can be used to buy bicycle equipment, public transport passes, or access to car-sharing services. Bonuses are distributed based on yearly income, with the lowest earners receiving the full total. Any funds not spent on transportation must be returned to the city authorities.

    The bonus has now been available for over 15 years, with the transition reward jumping from 500 euros to 900 euros in this time; however, damaged vehicle funding is no longer offered. Bruxell’air is now under the supervision of the city’s environmental authorities who will monitor the successful rollout of the fund and prevent any fraudulent activities.

  5. EU’s Environmental Agency Calls for Urgent Action

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    Europe’s Environment Agency published its 6th ‘State of the Environment’ and calls for urgent action in the next decade of policy making. Future policies need to address the loss of biodiversity, tackle the increasing impact of climate change and solve the problem of natural resources overconsumption. If the Europe Union and its member states can do so, there is hope as well according the report.

    While European policies helped to improve the environment over recent decades, progress is not significant enough. Europe’s sustainability vision ‘living well within the limits of the planet’ can only be achieved if there is a fundamental change in future policy making. The report urges leaders, member states and policymakers to radically speed up and scale up next decade of action to get back on track and achieve Europe’s medium and longer-term policy goals.

    The current range of European policy actions provide an essential foundation for future progress but they are not enough. Europe needs to do things better, it needs to address certain challenges differently, and it needs to rethink its investments. Achieving Europe’s goals will require better implementation and improved coordination between current policies. It will also need additional policy actions to achieve fundamental change in the key systems of production and consumption that underpin our modern lifestyles, such as for instance mobility, which have substantial environmental impacts.

    The report also stresses the importance of how governments can enable a transition to sustainability and the need to address things differently. For example, Europe should rethink how it uses existing innovations and technologies, how production processes could be improved, how research and development into sustainability could be fostered and how changes in consumption patterns and ways of living could be stimulated.

    Lastly, achieving such change will require investing in a sustainable future and stopping using public funds to subsidise environmentally damaging activities. Europe will gain immensely from such a change in investment priorities because of the economic and social opportunities that it can create. At the same time, it will be crucial to listen to public concerns and ensure widespread support for such a shift — a socially fair transition.

    Europe’s environment is at a tipping point. We have a narrow window of opportunity in the next decade to scale up measures to protect nature, lessen the impacts of climate change and radically reduce our consumption of natural resources’, says Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director

    Find the article of EEA on https://www.eea.europa.eu/highlights/soer2020-europes-environment-state-and-outlook-report, where you can also download the report as a PDF-file.

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