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Many municipalities will organize running, hiking and cycling events, Source: gov.si

Record 84 Slovenian municipalities join European Mobility Week

Record 84 Slovenian municipalities join European Mobility Week

The initiative promotes walking and cycling, and other healthy and sustainable alternatives to car transport

Between 16 and 22 September, 84 municipalities across Slovenia, current president of the Council of the EU, will take part in this year’s European Mobility Week (EMW) under the slogan “Live healthy. Travel sustainably.” The pan-European initiative celebrating its 20th anniversary encourages individuals to choose more active ways to travel to school, work and daily chores.

Changing mobility habits

Transport is one of the main sources of air pollution, key contributor to climate change and cause of road injuries and deaths, so changing our mobility-related habits is vital. Choosing active mobility options not only means better relaxation and recreation, but also cheaper travel with more fun especially for covering shorter distances. 

Welcoming the activities of municipalities that are introducing permanent changes during the mobility week, Slovenian Minister of Infrastructure Jernej Vrtovec said, as quoted by the government’s press service: “Quality rearrangements of traffic areas that give priority to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, are the ones that really count. These are measures that enable us to move comfortably and safely in a sustainable way. "

"We are proud that conditions for pedestrians and cyclists have been gradually improving over the past twenty years, so we are working to change people's travel habits and opt for healthier and more sustainable forms of mobility," said Polona Demšar Mitrovič, EMW coordinator at the Ministry of Infrastructure.

A multitude of activities

Despite the unpredictable circumstances and restrictions caused by the pandemic, a record number of 84 municipalities across Slovenia responded to the call of the jubilean EMW. Many of them will close parts of their city centres to motor traffic and dedicate public space to a variety of activities, such as the traditional Car Free Day. There will be also workshops for schoolchildren and the elderly, bicycle servicing training, organized hikes and cycling trips.

Many municipalities will also take the opportunity to present their achievements in the field of sustainable mobility, such as improvements in cycling infrastructure, promotion of public transport, new bike rental schemes, and campaigns such as Prostofer, a Slovenian volunteer project providing senior drivers for the elderly who need to go places but are unable to use public transport or taxi.

The municipality of Kočevje, for example, organized a public discussion on closing the city to motor traffic, while the municipality of Bled will award the most creative short video on sustainable mobility at its Cycling Breakfast. And the municipality of Bohinj, in cooperation with the prostoRož cultural association, has designed a space where debates on municipal spatial planning will take place.

The magnificent seven

An event at Ljubljana Castle on 16 September will see special plaques awarded to the seven Slovenian municipalities which are participating in the initiative for the twentieth time: Municipality of Celje, Municipality of Koper, City of Ljubljana, City of Maribor, City Municipality of Murska Sobota, Municipality of Nova Gorica and Municipality of Gornja Radgona.

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