The smartest way to move 5 km in urban areas is on foot, by bicycle, by public transport or by other modes of transport that save resources and energy.
It is important for the youngest to learn from experts how to travel to school optimally and safely and how to be responsible for themselves, the environment and other traffic participants.
We talked about these topics with students of the second, fourth and seventh grades of the Laza Kostić Elementary School, residents of the blocks, an expert from the City of Belgrade, the NGO “My Beautiful City” and a representative of the EU Delegation to Serbia, at the event “Active Mobility in the New Belgrade Settlement”, held during European Mobility Week 2023 campaign.
Today’s event is organized with our local partner NGO “My Beautiful City”. We are now located in block 19a in New Belgrade, and we are trying to help children between the ages of 8 and 10 learn something about mobility. European Mobility Week promotes the use of more bicycles, public transport or walking throughout Europe. This is an idea that is important to us, because it helps with environmental protection which is ultimately good for all of us, said Patrick Schmelzer, Head of Information, Communication and Press at the EU Delegation to Serbia.
Aleksandra Tošić, acting principal of “Laza Kostić“ Elementary School emphasized that for the second year in a row, the students of their school participate in European Mobility Week, celebrated in the cities throughout Europe.
“One hundred students are participating this year. It is very important for us to show the connection between blocks 19 and 23 as the roads of safety – children need to learn to cross these busy intersections safely and carefully, and at the same time to save energy, use their legs, bicycles, scooters, and to use cars as little as possible, as well as to be as active as possible”, said Tošić.
Through this educational walk, riding bicycles and electric scooters, crossing modernized intersections and solving an educational quiz with the simulation of practical traffic situations – on two training grounds, young people gained new knowledge about smart ways of moving in an urban environment. In the traffic simulation, the students of senior grades that participate in the Traffic section took an active part.
After the outdoor program, a group of students from Elementary School Laza Kostić boarded a modern electric bus and headed to the EU Info Centre – where they improved their theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of urban mobility, energy saving and pollution reduction through an interactive workshop.
“Today, the children actively participated in the sustainable urban mobility workshop, realizing that more efficient use of resources and energy can transform our cities into healthier and cleaner communities – small steps today can make big changes tomorrow!”, emphasized Ognjen Todorović, Head of the Department for urban mobility of the Secretariat for Transport of the City of Belgrade at the end of the event.
In Serbia, 25 cities and municipalities participated in European Mobility Week by organizing a car-free pedestrian day, promoting high-speed rail connections, riding bicycles, rollerblades, electric vehicles, workshops, exhibitions and other events.
The European Commission has decided that the theme of this year’s European Mobility Week will be: energy saving. The motto Let’s move better – save energy! was chosen for this topic. The theme of this year’s campaign is focused on the possibilities of saving fuel and energy in general, through the motivation of citizens to use active forms of movement, the promotion of renewable forms of energy in mobility and the advocacy of as little dependence on the use of cars as possible.
Starting from February 16, 2020, the coordination of the implementation of European Mobility Week in the Republic of Serbia was assumed by the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities – the Association of Municipalities and Cities of Serbia and the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, which contributes to an even more massive celebration of the event in our local governments with the strong support of all relevant actors from the national level.
After the event, citizens will enjoy permanent improvements to the traffic infrastructure – new bike lanes, organized pedestrian crossings, car-free zones, access for people with disabilities, measures to regulate speed and traffic safety, as well as other smart solutions useful for more efficient movement with a reduced environmental impact.
EU Info Centre Belgrade, EU Info Corner Novi Sad and EU Info Corner Niš actively participated in the promotion of European Mobility Week 2023 in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Niš with their own activities.
Every year, from September 16-22, European Mobility Week takes place as the European Commission’s flagship campaign to raise awareness of sustainable urban mobility.
During the week, nearly 3,000 cities and municipalities encouraged behavioural changes in favour of active mobility, public transport and other clean, intelligent transport solutions by organizing awareness-raising activities and events with local stakeholders. In Serbia, 25 cities and municipalities joined the campaign.