Highlights from the Burgas mobility forum

  • mobility

When EUROCITIES mobility forum met in Burgas on 10-12 September, over 70 participants from 25 cities addressed the theme 'Smart mobility: a clever move'. Here are some of the highlights – from urban mobility frameworks to parking strategies.

EUROCITIES embraces Europe from west to east

The forum meeting in Burgas by the Black Sea, about as far east as the EU extends continentally, welcomed its biggest ever presence from Eastern European cities. Alongside participants from member cities Sofia, Gdansk and Budapest were guests from Debrecen, Asenovgrad and Gabrovo.

Brest: mobility innovation

Brest metropole, a new member of our mobility forum, spoke about the unique urban mobility component on its territory: the urban cable car. The only cable car of its kind in France, it opened in late 2016 and already carries over 1 million passengers a year. It forms part of the urban transport network and the same ticket is valid for local buses and the cable car.

The Brest cable car is a symbol of urban integration and innovation, connecting urban areas with different contexts and uses. It has also rapidly become a tourist attraction. Brest metropole has received three awards for this urban mobility innovation.

 Dieselgate: what now?

In a lively debate, the vice-mayors from Burgas, Mannheim and Sofia - Ruska Boyadzhieva, Christian Specht and Evgeni Krussev – stressed the importance of cities being able to set the framework for sustainable urban mobility – public, intermodal, clean and shared.  The politicians agreed that infrastructures, taxation and good public transport alternatives can be powerful in terms of reducing the number of cars on the road and tackling diesel pollution.

During the debate, Boyadzhieva said, "We have to go back to the roots of cities and how they were actually created. The best shared mobility is still public transport." Specht outlined Mannheim's initiatives to reduce air pollution as one of three pilot cities chosen by the German government to test new solutions in city centres. These include micro hubs for freight and more attractive public transport

Burgas: smart parking

Our host city explained the smart parking measures it has implemented. These include parking with automatic detection and memorisation of vehicle license plates to enable fee adjustment, blue and green zones to limit the time cars can be parked in specific areas, mobile and web-based applications for parking slots in blue zones and park and ride facilities close to Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) bus stations.

The city's impressive strategy was presented during a discussion on smart parking which, the participants stressed, must be seen as a way to help implement 'the right tool for the right needs'. They agreed there is no single solution for efficient parking policies but many tools to help implement them through a better understanding of needs, better use of parking resources and stronger enforcement as well as user-friendly payment facilities.

 Mobility forum elections

 The cities of Mannheim and Toulouse have by elected as chair and vice-chair of the EUROCITIES mobility forum and will officially start their mandate after the EUROCITIES Annual Conference in Edinburgh.