It matters whether we spend half an hour or 45 minutes on the way to work or school. There are other issues that we may be neglecting that concern our health, the air we breathe, green spaces and the well-being of the youngest.
Last week, we discussed these topics with the students of the Elementary School Laza Kostić, residents of the block, experts from the City of Belgrade, the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, the NGO “Moj lepi grad” (My Beautiful City) and the EU Delegation to Serbia, at the event “Urban Mobility in Block 19a”, held as part of the campaign for the European Mobility Week 2022.
Antoine Avignon, Program Manager in the EU Delegation to Serbia, welcomed all the participants of the event and reminded them of the importance of the European Mobility Week.
“The European Mobility Week is an important manifestation with participation of a large number of people from European cities every year. During the week, healthy ways of movement are promoted and practiced with various events and active participation of citizens. A total of 28 municipalities and cities are participating in Serbia this year, and to my satisfaction, the youngest are here with us, in Block 19a, which is very important”, emphasized Avignon.
During the interactive program, the smart choices that everyone can make in order to reduce the impact on the environment, and increase traffic safety and benefit from the infrastructure were also discussed.
Ognjen Todorović, Head of the Urban Mobility Department of the City of Belgrade’s Secretariat of Transport, emphasized the importance of health and safety.
“It is important that we move as much as possible in an active way – on foot, bicycle, scooter, especially on short distances within the city. When we move, we should take care of our safety, as well as the safety of other participants in traffic”, said Todorović.
Students had the opportunity to practice the most common traffic situations at the traffic test site. An urban mobility quiz was organized on the basketball court in the heart of the block, where a workshop with an exhibition and discussion with experts was held.
A prerequisite for intelligent urban mobility are access paths, roads, green areas, bicycle lanes, parks, designed and maintained in cooperation with citizens. City services need feedback, so that the solutions are fully adapted and serve the entire community.
It is important for the youngest to find out, first hand, what their role is in traffic, how to move safely and to be responsible participants in the future. If we want to reduce pollution and raise awareness of urban mobility challenges and solutions, we all need to work together.
In Serbia, 28 cities and municipalities participated in the European Mobility Week by organizing a car-free pedestrian day, promotion of high-speed rail connections, cycling, rollerblading, electric vehicles, workshops, exhibitions and other events.
The campaign aims to encourage non-motorized modes of transport in cities and promote healthy ways of moving without negative impact on the environment, so this year’s theme is “Better Connectivity” accompanied by the slogan “Let’s Move Better”. The national coordinators of the activities during the European Mobility Week 2022 in Serbia are the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM) and the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure.
After the event, citizens will be left with permanent improvements to the traffic infrastructure – new bicycle lanes, organized pedestrian crossings, car-free zones, access roads 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. During this Mobility Week, seven municipalities will achieve permanent improvements – Belgrade, Čajetina, Niš, Užice, Kruševac, Pirot and Sombor.
The European Mobility Week is an excellent opportunity for local communities to come together and discuss different aspects of mobility and air quality, to look for innovative solutions to reduce the use of cars, to try out new technological and urban planning solutions. The campaign gives citizens the opportunity to explore new possibilities for using city streets and to experiment with practical solutions that contribute to solving important issues for cities, such as air pollution.
EU Info Centre Belgrade, EU Info Point Novi Sad and EU Info Point Niš actively participated in the promotion of the European Mobility Week 2022 in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Sombor and Niš.