Since January this year, European Commission made broad consultation of stakeholders involved in urban transport with a view to prepare the Green Paper document to shape the European urban transport policy for the next decade. Regular appointments have been made, in the form of conferences.
The first one on January 31 launched the process of hearings followed by four technical workshops (see EMTA news April 07) and the final conference took place on 4 June.
Speaking at the final stakeholder conference, commission Vice President Jacques Barrot stressed again the importance of achieving sustainable urban mobility to overcome the negative impact of congestion and pollution and improve the everyday life of European citizens.
Based on the first outcomes of the consultations, Barrot outlined what could be a frame for urban mobility strategy. He stressed the need for a balance approach between passengers and freight, for an increase use of green propulsion and the development of intelligent transport systems. He suggested the establishment of a European Charter of Rights and Obligations for Citizens using public transport and underlining the benefits of exchange of experiences. He proposed also Erasmus-style exchanges for city planners.
Meanwhile on May 24, the European Ministers responsible for urban and spatial development signed the Charter on Sustainable European Cities so called Leipzig Charter. It was Commission Vice president Margot Wallström who advocated the key role of cities to shape the sustainable future of European citizens – already 80%- living in urban areas. Building sustainable cities require new form of partnership between citizens and businesses, the support of local governments and a better co-ordination of EU sectorial transport, social and environmental policies.
In keeping with the Lisbon strategy, the Leipzig Charter:
– Emphasizes integrated urban development policy including better planning and preservation of building heritage, particular attention to deprived areas with the emphasis on innovation in education and training, the strengthening of the local economic potential and strategies of employment particularly geared towards the youth,
– Encourages the development of effective and efficient public transport.
– Stresses once again the recourse to exchange of experience and good practices along with shared knowledge data comparison .[Leipzig Charter.pdf->