The city of Budapest was awarded the European Mobility Week Award 2008 in recognition of its outstanding contribution to the promotion of sustainable mobilityduring the European Mobility Week 2008. Budapest, dedicated participant since 2002, continued importance of strong partnerships for the European Mobility Week, especially in the current economic climate where budgets are being stretched more than ever before. The city has transformed EMW into a significant annual event, the highlight of which in 2010 linked to the theme: ‘Travel smarter, live better!’

On the opening day (16 September) the program focused on Public Transport. In the morning was a ‘Clever Commuting Race’: a group of VIP started from a new P+R / B+R parking place in a suburban district toward the city centre to highlight the efficiency of public transport compared to private cars. Arriving to the destination, a press briefing was held to communicate the advantages of PT and about the actions and programs of EMW in Budapest.

The week included an interactive demonstration of alternatively fuelled eco-vehicles; a conference on ‘The alternatives of travelling and transportation in the city’ ; and the occupancy of the newest pedestrianised street which is the closing chain-link in the chain of pedestrian zone in the downtown. The closing event was an open-air exhibition of state-of-art eco-buses on the main boulevard closed for 24 hours on 22 September.

The programme culminated in a ’Car-free Week-end’, a 48 hour closure of the city’s main avenue to vehicles allowing Hungary’s largest outdoor environmental/sustainable transport festival combined with the Open-air Season-opening Festival where  40 theatres   took place, attracting over 200,000 participants.'Live better' programs: the visitors could actively use free sport tools,  special bicycles, could learn dances as fun and therapy against stress. The innovation of EMW Budapest is that this avenue, originally built as a promenad in the XIX. century, recovered its original function as a cultural space. The success of nine Car-Free Days closing off the World Heritage listed Andrássy Avenue to all motorised traffic since 2002 demonstrated the viability of the planes of pedestrianising of downtown  of Budapest.

Up till now the Heart of Budapest Program has been realised. A reduction in car traffic, that has been desired for so long, has also been successfully executed in the new areas thanks to the new traffic rules, which has made this area of the city more friendly, more attractive, quieter and fresher, to the greatest delight of tourists visiting Budapest.

Budapest also made a long-lasting contribution to promoting sustainable mobility and reducing CO2 emissions by introducing various permanent measures in the city (e.g. installation of new Park & Ride / Bike & Ride facilities in two districts; building of 10 new bicycle paths; broadening of a Danube river bridge with two bicycle paths; new pedestrian zones out of the city-centre; strict emission-limit rules for the vehicles; new, energy saver local railway trains; new bus time-table synchronised with the railway guide in the 17th district.)

The success of EMW in Budapest may be in part attributed to the partnerships the EMW Budapest coordination has formed with key stakeholders including several district municipalities, environmental NGOs, special interest groups and public transport companies, which provide their political and financial backing for the campaign, thus helping to engender greater public support for the initiative.



2011-06-27 16:29:55
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