Mobility Week

Stay healthy, save climate with sustainable transport

This year, Mobility Week will focus on active micromobility. (Photo: Mike Zenari/Maison Moderne/archives)

This year, Mobility Week will focus on active micromobility. (Photo: Mike Zenari/Maison Moderne/archives)

For its 20th edition, the theme of the European Mobility Week, which will take place from 16 to 22 September in Luxembourg, is "Safe and healthy with sustainable mobility".

Transport minister François Bausch (déi Gréng) on Thursday presented the programme of this year’s mobility week, saying the theme is topical and symbolic.

"Moving is important to stay healthy. And health is more important than ever, because a good immune system protects against the virus,” Bausch said during a press conference. 

Another reason to highlight micromobility for this year’s edition is the upcoming COP26 meeting in November. “If we want to comply with the Paris climate agreement, the transport sector, being the one that emits the most CO2, is the key sector to achieve this,” Bausch said. 

"In Luxembourg, 40% of journeys of less than 5km are still made by motorised mobility. I don't think that we have invented cars that can go up to 100km/h to make these kinds of distances, which are great to make on foot or by bike,” said Bausch, adding that, "more so than the journeys to go to work, it is the journeys we make in our free time that are still too often made by car.”

Taking the car is far from the most efficient option, Bausch said. "In the city, it takes much longer to get to your car, make the journey and find a parking space than it does to take the tram.” Passenger numbers have increased from 33,000 before free transport to a record of 62,000 passengers in one day.

Sales of electric cars are also soaring, to the point where "we have to be careful that the infrastructure is not overtaken by its success, as was the case in Norway.”

Activities in 21 municipalities

Despite transport and traffic being an ongoing problem in Luxembourg only 21 communes so far have signed up to take part in Mobility Week. Of these, only six--Bissen, Colmar-Berg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Feulen, Mamer and Mertzig-- are so-called Golden Cities, a label that requires three criteria to be met: a training week, the inauguration of permanent measure(s), and the closure of the main road(s) for the last day of the week.

Luxembourg City has not yet registered, although it is planning to do so. "Whether it is the city, Differdange, Dudelange or Bettembourg, it doesn't matter... all the big cities should participate. They should have more courage and do better,” Bausch said,

All the events of the Mobility Week, organised by the government and the “Syndicat des villes et communes luxembourgeoises” (Syvicol), can be found on the Mobilitéitswoch website.

This story was first published in French on Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.