Bikes and Soft Transportation: Small and Medium Size Cities Are Leading the Way Too!

Segolene Pruvot

By Segolene Pruvot, on October 26th, 2012

> Read Segolene Pruvot's articles

Soft transportation means are meant to be a key for the future of European cities sustainability: they solve problems of road congestion and also improve the health of citizens.
Of course, everyone knows the popular rental bikes systems in big European cities such as Copenhagen, Paris or now London: their set up, implementation and success have been widely covered by the press.

What about Small and Medium Size Cities?

The URBACT project Active Travel Network has been working in the last two years on this topic. It gathers eight European cities and one university: Weiz in Austria and the University KFU-Graz, Skanderborg in Denmark, Serres in Greece, Riccione and Novarra in Italy, Ljutomer in Slovenia, Sebes in Romania and Norderstedt in Germany.

It is worth looking at these cities if you are interested in municipal policies to stimulate the use of bikes!

Awareness-Raising Campaigns in Schools or Shops

For instance, the city of Ljutomer has involved school children of three of its primary schools in a Traffic Snake Game. It reached out 484 children and increased the use of soft transportation means for the arrival of these children to school! Walking has increased by 4.4% and combined arrival by 8.3%. The use of cars to drop children at school decreased of 12% during the game. And the use of soft transportation means consolidated after the game.

This policy and involvement of the city in an international network such as Active Travel Network have been praised by not less than Danilo Türk, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, during a visit in Ljutomer!

Another nice example is the one of the city of Sebes in Romania which  has set up a network of walking and cycling friendly shops.

Great Background Material to Develop Campaigns about Soft Transportation in Small and Medium Size Cities!

Active Travel Network has developed background studies and material for campaigning for sustainable development transportation means and a training material about mobility management and about fundamentals on transport and energy questions: useful tools designed for transport professional in cities.

The project is holding its final conference on November 6 and 7 in Weiz, Austria: a great opportunity to learn about ways how to solve transport problems in medium and small sized cities as well as to find out more about the project and its results!

Ségolène Pruvot

One Response to “Bikes and Soft Transportation: Small and Medium Size Cities Are Leading the Way Too!”

  1. Tim Banks says:

    Biking and walking is the best you can do to help the environment . I choose to live to closer to center of my city so I can walk and bike more and help pollution reduction ! Plus I am healthier !

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