Vilnius, Klaipėda and Panevėžys awarded for their vision of a sustainable mobility future,

The Lithuanian Ministry of Transport and Communication supported ‘Sustainable Mobility Forum’ took place on April 19th in Vilnius. During the opening session, an announcement was made on the cities with the best ‘Future with sustainable mobility scenarios up to 2030’ using the most mobility-and environmentally friendly mobility tools, and based on their SUMPs. The Minister for Transport and Communications presented the awards to the municipalities of Vilnius, Klaipėda and Panevėžys, as the three winning cities with the most progressive visions for the future.

"Cities and their inhabitants usually suffer from traffic congestion, noise and air pollution, and using environmentally friendly means of transport, combining different ways, help solve these problems. I am delighted that cities are trying to offer citizens alternative modes that are as attractive and as comfortable as private car travel,” said the Minister Rokas Masiulis.

Municipal Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (in Lithuanian - DJMPs) have been evaluated and selected by the Commission for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan established by the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The winners were as follows:

  • Vilnius City Municipality were awarded for active inclusion of sustainable mobility plan to meet the expectations of Vilnius residents. In particular they appreciated the cost of renting scooters: the idea is beautiful, although sometimes it is better to buy their own.
  • Klaipeda city received the award for the most ambitious vision of sustainable urban mobility.
  • Panevėžys has been evaluated for its active participation in sustainable mobility initiatives.

19 Lithuanian cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants as well as a few cities with resort status already have SUMPs prepared and approved. Kaunas city is the last city to complete the preparation of its SUMP. Those SUMPs already prepared cover nine categories of mobility planning and development with a focus on infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, public transport, and appropriate adaptation of infrastructure for people with special needs. During the Sustainable Mobility Forum there was much discussion on the progress of local authorities in moving towards their sustainable urban vision.

Representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications presented an overview of sustainable urban mobility plans and follow-up actions. In addition external speakers made thematic presentations: Tom Rye, a lecturer at Edinburgh's Napier University, shared best practices on sustainable mobility in Europe; James McGeever, from the environmental NGO ‘ECAT’ presented travel planning and benefits to society; Monika Poškutė and Vlada Musvydaitė introduced the ecosystem of mobility and its possibilities to the city, the benefits of walking and the possibilities of the #walk15 partnership for municipalities; and Martynas Marozas, along with architect Darius Pupeikis and Kestutis Zaleckis talked about sustainable urbanism.

The Sustainable Mobility Forum was organized by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in partnership with Environmental Management and Technology Center (ECAT) – the local coordinator of the EU project CIVITAS PROSPERITY. According to the European Commission research carried out through the CIVITAS PROSPERITY project, since 2011 Lithuania has made the greatest progress in promoting, preparing and implementing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and now, together with Belgium, Norway, Spain and France, is entering the first category of countries with a well-developed sustainable urban transport planning system supported at national level.

Author: James McGeever, Environmental Centre for Administration and Technology

 

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