Transport mix best for cities: mayors

A “truly ecomobile city” used a combination of transport methods including cycling, wheeling, use of public transport and car-sharing, Festival creative director Konrad Otto-Zimmerman said on the first day of the 2013 EcoMobility Festival in South Korea.

Mr Zimmerman also has the title ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability Chair of Urban Agendas.  He was addressing the Mayors’ Press Conference.

Travel methods had to be integrated, open to people of all social and economic means and which did not adversely affect the environment, he said.

“Implementing ecomobile solutions like car-free days, bike sharing or bus systems in Lagos de Moreno are above all a political issue,” Hugo Ruiz Esparzo, mayor of Lagos de Moreno in Mexico, said.

“It is not only a financial or a social concern.”

“In Suwon, it was the courage of Suwon residents, the support of the international sustainable transport community and the political leadership of Suwon Mayor Yeom Tae-Young that made this Festival possible,” Suwon vice-mayor Lee Jae Joon said.

Ecomobility was only an instrument in creating liveable cities, Martin Haag, vice-mayor of Freiburg, in Germany, said.

“We need acceptance from the people to create liveable cities.” Mr Haag said

Socially-conscious citizens were crucial in transforming Freiberg into one of the greenest cities in Germany, he said.

It was imperative to work together with citizens, non-government organisations, business leaders and all affected people to implement ecomobility in any city, Shyh Fang Liu, vice-mayor of Kaohsiung, in Taiwan, said.

Kaohsiung  is regarded as one of the most advanced cities in Asia and has promoted ecomobile means of transport. Recently, it has replaced diesel-powered buses and boats with solar-powered ones.

“EcoMobility cannot go alone. It is part of the building of a liveable city”, Daisuku Kadokowa, mayor of Kyoto, Japan, said.

To build a liveable city, Kyoto in 2010 enacted a “Kyoto Enjoyed by Walking Charter” aimed at developing an attractive town for people by unifying the citizens, tourists, Mr businesses and government bodies, Mr Kadokowa said.

“Each and every citizen of Kyoto cherishes the life enjoyed by walking which is good for health and for the environment,” he said.

About Robert