Utrecht recognised as CIVITAS ‘City of the Year’

In a European competition created to promote clean and sustainable urban transportation solutions, Utrecht (Netherlands) dominated two of the three categories for its impressive efforts to implement transport policies and engage the public.

Utrecht was named City of the Year, and also took honours in the Technical Innovation category. Ghent (Belgium) was the winner in the third category (Public Participation).

Now in its 8th edition, the CIVITAS Awards are given to cities that demonstrate ambitious urban transport activities, programmes or policies supporting cleaner and better city transportation. The Awards Ceremony took place in Funchal, on the opening day of the CIVITAS Forum Conference. Since 2002 the CIVITAS (City-VITAlity-Sustainability) EU initiative has actively facilitated the sharing of best practice among more than 209 European cities.

The wide range of measures combined with its a progressive programme for freight delivery earned Utrecht recognition as CIVITAS City of the Year. According to Sonja Van Renssen, jury member, "Utrecht has a "wide-ranging approach…stretching from targeting behavioural change to investment in public transport. It’s promoting everything from car sharing and cleaner trams to efficient freight transport and Park & Ride."

The active involvement of Utrecht’s citizens in the city’s public transportation projects was another factor singled out by the CIVITAS Award panel of judges.

Stockholm’s activities to advance its electric charging infrastructure made it a runner-up for City of the Year.

In the Technical Innovation category, Utrecht’s sustainable freight transport solutions helped make it the winner. Among other clever solutions, Utrecht has put in place a comprehensive system that relies on its inland waterways through the use of an electric "beer boat", and is using centrally co-ordinated solar-powered electric vehicle(s) called "Cargohoppers" for city-centre freight deliveries.

Two runner-ups were named in the Technical Innovation category: Stockholm and Treviso. Stockholm has made impressive efforts to populate its fleet of electric vehicles with a programme involving the private and public sectors, EV manufacturers, national authorities and experts. Judges remarked that Treviso (Italy) warranted a mention as a runner-up because of its positive attitude toward mobility strategy and implementation of innovative solutions.

In the Public Participation category, Ghent was the winner for the "sheer breadth of its actions to engage stakeholders on sustainable urban transport policy," said Sonja Van Renssen.

Burgos (Spain) and Brighton & Hove (UK) were the two runners-up in the Public Participation category, decided for their interesting approaches to involve citizens and stakeholders in mobility actions and decisions.

A re-cap of 2011 Winners and Runners-Up in each category:

City of the Year

Winner: Utrecht

Runner-up: Stockholm

Technical Innovation

Winner: Utrecht

Runners-up: Stockholm, Treviso

Public Participation

Winner: Ghent

Runners-up: Burgos, Brighton & Hove

CIVITAS (City-VITAlity-Sustainability) is an EU initiative designed to support cleaner and better transport in cities. Launched in 2002, it facilitates the sharing of best practice and receives European Commission funding for collaborative transnational projects.

Each city that entered the awards competition is a member of the CIVITAS Forum Network, a community of more than 209 cities committed to introducing ambitious and forward-thinking transport policies.

The CIVITAS Forum Conference is an annual gathering for the exchange of views between politicians and urban transport experts. The 2011 conference is the 9th edition of the conference. Previous meetings have been held in Bologna, Kaunas, Burgos, Nantes, Rotterdam, Graz, Krakow and Malmö.

Auteur: Redactie Infrasite

Bron: CIVITAS Initiative