Island cities win big at this year’s CIVITAS Awards

Island cities win big at this year’s CIVITAS Awards

Funchal and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria took the leading prizes

Yesterday, a special event during the first European Urban Mobility Days saw the giving of the CIVITAS Awards for sustainable mobility. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain) and Funchal (Portugal) won the two leading prizes on green mobility and thus showed that great innovation and transformation happens also on the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, which are often left out of the spotlight.

Runners-up were Aachen (Germany), Larissa (Greece), Porto (Portugal) and Rome (Italy)

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria won the “CIVITAS Resilience” award because it stood ahead of other cities when it came to using the crisis situation to adapt and implement further mobility transformations under its “Mobility Plan for the New Normal”. This includes increased space for cyclists and pedestrians and car-free zones on key roads during the weekends.

“In the tough times we face, there are few opportunities for joy. This is why this CIVITAS Award is so special”, said Jose Eduardo Ramirez, Councillor for the Mobility Department in the Canarian city. “We are proud that this European-level initiative has rewarded our efforts to improve people’s lives through sustainable mobility. For us, this is fundamental to everyone’s wellbeing."

The other big winner was the Madeira Island capital – Funchal. It grabbed the “CIVITAS Legacy” award. The city has been involved with the CIVITAS network since 2008 and it had stood out as a hotbed for innovation since then. For example, its city centre streets had become fully pedestrianized.

“Winning the CIVITAS Legacy Award marks a real high point for us and we are extremely honoured to have been selected. It is an important acknowledgement of all the work we have done to make Funchal a more liveable, inclusive and sustainable city,” commented Bruno Martins, Councillor for Urban Mobility in the city, adding: “This will motivate us to go even further in pursuing more integrated and state-of-the-art solutions”.

Funchal’s runners-up in the same category were Aachen, honoured for its pedelec-sharing system, and Larissa, which is also going the way towards pedestrianization of its downtown area.

As for the “CIVITAS Resilience” award, the runners-up Rome and Porto are also worth mentioning. The Italian capital, for example, has introduced a plan for 150 km of temporary cycle routes, and the Portuguese city has replaced parking spaces with ‘parklets’ of various uses.



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