Bilbao wins 2021 EU Road Safety Award

POLIS member Bilbao is the winner of the 2021 EU Urban Road Safety Award, the European Commission prize for local authorities that rewards outstanding and innovative achievements by local authorities in the area of road safety.

Bilbao – the largest city in northern Spain, with a population of over 345,000 inhabitants – was the first major European city to implement a 30km/h speed limit throughout the urban landscape. Awarded by the 2021 EU Urban Road Safety Award, the speed limits were first reduced in June 2018, and in September 2020 the speed limit was extended to the whole city.

The city has invested heavily in sustainable transportation for many years. In 2019, Greenpeace named Bilbao as the most committed city in Spain regarding sustainable mobility. Bilbao was also a finalist of this year’s 9th SUMP Award, the European Commission prize highlighting the best Sustainable Urban Mobility Awards.

In a bid to ensure a high quality of life for its residents, Bilbao is addressing the major challenges linked to urban mobility and transportation through the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan 2016-2030. The plan is the result of ambitious work from the city and the city’s Council to achieve a sustainable, egalitarian, and people-friendly urban mobility.

The document focuses on the reduction of harmful emissions to improve population’s health, gender equality, road safety, citizen’s social cohesion, efficiency, and sustainability. Bilbao is committed to achieve “zero emissions mobility”, by taking concrete steps to develop infrastructures for electric vehicles, promoting the use of bikes in the city, public transportation, and pedestrian mobility.

As a POLIS member , Bilbao has been involved in several working groups and EU-funded projects, such as FREILOT on energy-efficient freight, the Regions of Knowledge Programme on research and innovation, and the Cooperative Cities project on energy efficient cooperative transport that recently kicked-off.

Read more about this year’s sustainable mobility awards here.