The City of Limassol is situated on the southern coast of Cyprus and is the most important coastal city of the island. It lies at the center of a triangle-shaped valley, and it has a very good traffic connection with the other parts of the island through comfortable highways. The town has two ports, commonly referred to as the old port and the new port. The new port has the greatest commercial and passenger flow of traffic and it is the biggest port in Cyprus. It is also the main harbour for the arrivals and departure of cruise ships in Cyprus. The old harbour is normally used by fishing boats and accommodates other entertainment activities. Revitalising work is ongoing in the city centre, particularly around the Market Area.
In March 2017, under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Works, a study of the SUMP of the greater Limassol Area started and it is due to be delivered in February 2019. With the implementation of the possible measures that will be proposed within the framework of the Limassol SUMP, we hope that as a city we will be able to ensure for our residents and visitors: Accessibility to jobs and services, a secure and improved transport and communications network, reduction of pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness of transport of people and goods, and enhancement of attractiveness and quality urban environment. Its key features should also be the participatory and integrated approach and the commitment to sustainability.
We have clear visions, goals and objectives, including a review of the costs and benefits of transport and travel. Policies and measures resulting from the SUMP should address all modes of transport across the urban area, including public and private, passenger and freight, motorized and non-motorized, as well as transportation and parking . We hope that with the gradual implementation of the SUMP, we will be able to face effectively the transport problems in the wider urban area.
Within this framework, and as a municipality, we already began a regular communication with various stakeholders and in general with organised ensembles of the city, which is essential since it is a dialogue with the users of the area. It is yet another example of the active participation of citizens and organised groups in the actions in our city, an approach, which in the past has worked out positively and has helped the municipality in identifying and solving various problems. The involvement of stakeholders and citizens in general, and in planning and decision-making processes is one of the fundamental requirements of the SUMP, as the dialogue sets out objectives and priorities to be taken into account in the design and development of the transport system of the town. We expect that through the process that requires active support from all social groups, sustainable solutions will be proposed and adopted. Through the participatory process, interested citizens, with different interests and requirements, have the ability to intervene and shape their own living environment. Ideas are exchanged, opinions are expressed and solutions are proposed that contribute to the development of effective changes to the existing system.
From all the above, it is obvious why we consider very important to host conferences on sustainable mobility and intelligent transport. Through such conferences and activities, we all have the opportunity to learn from each other, and to become familiar of the new perception of mobility, to see examples from other cities, and to avoid any weaknesses that have been presented. Therefore, the 5th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in Nicosia in May 2018 is also the opportunity to further increase the awareness of the Limassol SUMP, and at the same time to further improve our knowledge, from the examples of other countries and cities, more advanced than us on these issues. Further information about the 5th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans will be available soon!