“The creation of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) is now an imperative need for every city and Europe is taking important steps in order to establish it”. With these words, the Mayor of Kallithea, Dimitrios Karnavos, opened the event on green mobility and public consultations, that was held in Kallithea, on 21st of April 2023.
The event is part of the project Active cities for EU, that is financed by the European Commission under the Network of Towns Programme with the participation of local authorities from Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.
Mr. Karnavos welcomed the participants at the premises of PEAN, a historic building that hosted a resistance group during the nazi’s occupation of Athens, at the WW II. Following the mayor, the vice Mayor, Mr. Giorgos Kiriakopoulos and Konstantinos Efstathiou, President of the Municipal Council also addressed the participants.
The Deputy Head of the Technical Services’ Studies Department, Ms. Ifigeneia Folidou, presented some of the best practices the Municipality of Kallithea developed to engage with citizens in public consultations related to sustainable mobility projects, combining physical with digital participation depending on the different target groups. “The main goal of sustainable mobility is to shift from “Transportation” to “Accessibility”, noted Ms Folidou.
70 cities, from the about 300 Hungarian cities have local public transport said Jenő Schmidt, President of the TOOSZ and mayor of the Tab city, who presented the efforts in sustainable transport solutions at local level in Hungary. Mr. Schmidt focused on the energy crisis and underlining that the tram is the cleanest solution nowadays, but still this energy needs to come from somewhere.
All public transport is set to become electric -some cities already are- explained Sorin Munteanu, general manager of UNCJR. Mr. Munteanu presented the way public consultations are conducted in Romania both as legal obligation but also as part of the Strategic Planning methodology, and the role organizations like UNCJR play in engaging the citizens to actively participate.
Alexandra Boluda from the Youth Council of Xativa and Teresa Espi from the XATEBA NGO, that supports and empowers women, presented the work of the two organisations in motivating young people and women to actively participate into all aspects of the public life at the local level.
Miran Košpenda, senior adviser of ZMOS, focused on the Integrated Territorial Investments (ITI) and how public consultations are embedded in the development of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPS) in each city. Mr Košpenda also referred to a number of examples from different Slovenian cities that implement urban mobility projects in the framework of ITI.
The presentations were followed by two parallel round tables on the challenges public consultations present in the framework of sustainable mobility policy design and the partners renewed their commitment to meet again in Budapest in May.