Urban mobility breakfast for Polis 25th anniversary on 3rd of December
Karen Vancluysen, Polis executive Director, kicked off the breakfast discussion by welcoming everyone to the Polis offices and shortly reflecting on the network's anniversary and activities in the field of urban transport innovation throughout the years.
Michael Cramer, MEP:
Michael Cramer gave his views as MEP from Berlin and as Chair of the Transport Committee on how cities and regions can work with the EU on issues of urban mobility. He underlined that the biggest change over the last decade is that urban mobility has been put on the European agenda: the Urban mobility green paper in 2009, the Urban Mobility action plan and Transport White paper in 2011 and the publication of the Urban Mobility package in December 2013 (Polis Position paper). He urged Cities and regions through Polis to work with Members of the European Parliament on the report that the Transport Committee is preparing on Urban Mobility in 2015. With the COP 2015 in Paris next year, he also stressed the importance of changing mobility policy and patterns in cities to tackle Climate change.
Cécile de Boer from the Arnhem Nijmegen City Region:
For Cécile de Boer from the Arnhem Nijmegen City Region, being a Polis member is about access to the knowledge and positive energy in the Polis secretariat in Brussels. It is also about partnerships with other cities in European projects and access to funding opportunities. And finally, it is a great way to share experience and meet experts from around Europe working on similar challenges. The big challenges for Arnhem Nijmegen are first on how to make cities more livable and accessible to all. Secondly, in the current context, funding is a great challenge and as is keeping the costs of transport at a reasonable level. Who pays for investment in sustainable transport and e-mobility is a question that is more and more prominent.
Echoing the debates at the Polis annual conference in Madrid last week, Mr. Cramer stressed that the biggest challenge is getting the national level on board to support the dialogue between the local and European levels. Cécile de Boer pointed out that Arnhem Nijmegen are working very closely with the Dutch government in preparation of the country’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2016 to put urban mobility high on the agenda.
The Urban Mobility breakfast marked the occasion for launching the Polis position paper on securing the benefits of Active travel for health policy, which main messages were presented by Karen Vancluysen. She called upon the European Institutions present to secure a better integration of transport and health policies to further unlock the potential of active travel.
The event was well attended by about 40 invited participants of cities' and regions' Brussels offices, related European networks and associations, and representatives of the European Institutions.
Photos of the breakfast are available on flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsk36o5E