EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK 2016: Smart mobility. Strong economy

The 2016 Thematic Guidelines (authored by POLIS) give more information and some ideas for activities that would fit this year's theme: 'Smart and sustainable mobility – an investment for Europe'. The key messages of the Thematic Guidelines are included in the video too.

Strengthening local economies is a universally popular goal, but one that many feel lies outside of our control as individuals or communities. Research shows, however, that by making smarter mobility choices we can notably boost public finances.

Studies indicate that cities that promote sustainable transport are at a significant economic advantage over those that favour traditionally fuelled cars. People who travel by active transport modes, such as walking and cycling, are not only more productive at work, they also take fewer sick days and spend less time on average in the doctor’s office.

And the benefits go far beyond better health. Property values in cities with good cycling facilities and efficient public transport tend to be higher, while children who walk or cycle to school perform better in class.

Prioritising sustainable transport also benefits the private sector. Reports reveal an increase in trading of up to 40 percent in areas where walking and cycling become the norm. In Copenhagen (Denmark), customers who travel to cities by bicycle spend €2 billion per year - more than those who travel by private vehicle.

From a governmental standpoint, investing in infrastructure for active travel, encouraging public transport use to reduce traffic congestion, and supporting bike-to-work schemes can save public money and boost local commerce.

From every angle, the economic benefits of smart mobility are plain to see - from the public to the private sector, from society at large to the individual. This year, EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is encouraging both local politicians and the public to look at smart and sustainable mobility as an investment for Europe.