The annual campaign, which takes place from 16-22 September each year, is organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport and seeks to improve quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport.

What happens at EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK? Cities, educational institutions, public sector organisations, NGOs, and Businesses across Europe will participate by organising MOBILITYACTIONS: activities and events that raise awareness and promote sustainable forms of transport.

Safe walking and cycling!

The theme for this year is named “safe walking and cycling”. It’s aimed to raise the awareness of the benefits of walking and cycling for our health, environment, and bank balance. The 2019 theme is represented by the slogan Walk with us! Active transport modes such as walking and cycling are emission-free and help to keep our hearts and bodies healthy.

Benefits of walking and cycling

Health benefits

studies show that cyclists on average live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15 percent fewer days off work through illness, while 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven years to your life! Biking and walking are not only good for the body; they are also incredibly beneficial for the mind, as well. According to Studies people who choose to bike or walk tend to suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues less than others. Getting exercise by biking or walking can help to increase blood flow, release endorphins, and reduce overall stress. Even logging 30 minutes of walking a day can help to improve mental health and energy.

Environmental benefits 

Walking plays a crucial role in improving our quality of life because it helps protect and improve the living environment and natural resources. Improving the environment in turn brings added health benefits that come, for example, from cleaner air, less traffic noise and fewer road accidents. Walking is highly efficient in its use of urban space and energy, it rarely causes injury and it gives streets vitality and personal security.
 

Walking and Cycling; Two Great Way to Help the Environment

In other hand, Bike riding uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transport. Bikes reduce the need to build, service and dispose of cars.

Cycling 10 km each way to work would save 1500 kg of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Cycling during peak hours would contribute to further emission reductions by reducing congestion and improving traffic flow.

Actions for improving mobility

Many countries are doing some actions in order to protect ozone layer and the environment. Earlier this year, ‘Gacha’ – the first autonomous, all-weather, electric bus – was unveiled in Helsinki (Finland), and has since been introduced in Espoo (Finland).

Gacha was developed in partnership between Finnish company Sensible 4, which provided the bus’ technology, and Muji, a Japanese company that worked on the design.

The autonomous bus is particularly unique in its ability to function in all weather conditions. This is especially crucial in a country like Finland that faces harsh winters. User experience was also carefully considered. Gacha can accommodate ten seated passengers, and six additional standing adults, and its interior aims to foster a “social environment.”

Marja-Liisa Niinikoski, CEO of Helsinki Business Hub, explains that Greater Helsinki has, “several urban testbeds enabling the creation of new smart mobility solutions and the city hosts the first open-mobility-as-a-service ecosystem in the world.” These are among the many ways that the city has invested in developing mobility innovations.

Throughout 2019, the bus will continue to be rolled out in other cities throughout Finland. 

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