A Europe-wide campaign has been launched to cut pollution and congestion in the continent’s urban areas, including a €500,000 (£395,000) fund to support projects at a local, regional and national level.
The campaign, announced by the European Commission last week (July 3), seeks to promote the advantages of using public transport, car sharing and cycling instead of driving and encourage changes in attitude and behaviour toward the environment.
European Commission vice-president Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “We want to encourage people to vary the way they move around the city – so our slogan invites people to ‘Do the Right Mix’. This campaign will give a boost to the local, regional and national awareness-raising actions that play a crucial role in creating and promoting this 21st century culture of urban mobility. It is vital to promote diversity in our daily mobility choices.”
Individuals, not-for-profit organisations, local authorities and businesses can all apply for grants of up to €7000 (£5,500) to participate in the campaign and undertake projects to improve transport diversity.
In addition, the campaign includes an award for European cities based on their sustainable urban mobility plans; and coordinated awareness-raising activities and events in 31 participating countries – the 27 EU Member States, three EEA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Croatia.
According to the Commission, if the EU cycling rate were the same as it is in Denmark, where the average person cycles 965km per year, then transport emissions would be cut by over 25 % over the whole of the Union.
The campaign is also linked to the Commission’s Mobility Week, which runs from September 16 – 22 each year, culminating in the European Car Free Day, which sees towns and cities reduce traffic for one day to ease pollution.