Forum leads urban mobility promises to "future-proof" actions

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Some of the most senior mobility officials from the various cities that make up the Eurocities network are taking part until Friday in the Mobility Forum in Porto. Among debates, workshops and presentations, the work is taking place under the theme of " Future-proof Urban Mobility" with a view to "transforming promises into actions to bridge the gap between now and the future".

"What we are discussing today is not very different from what our predecessors discussed. The only difference is that we are in an emergency situation", Rui Moreira stated, at the beginning of the session, this Wednesday, at the Museu do Carro Elétrico, believing that "dreaming the future makes us, necessarily, go back".

The mayor of Porto considers that the focus is always on "social sustainability", in which public transport and "fair mobility" play decisive roles.

Bringing to the forum the example of the Porto Climate Pact and the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, Rui Moreira stressed that "if we do not look at transport, at mobility, as the main target of sustainability, we will not achieve neutrality".

"We have a big problem in European cities, which should force us to assume that, yes, we want sustainability in public transport, in mobility, but not only because of the environment, of pollution. This is also for society", the mayor considers, recalling the time and money spent every day travelling by families on lower incomes.

Asserting that the Municipality of Porto is "very committed to the new options with regard to public transport", Rui Moreira stressed that "soft mobility will continue to be one of our dreams".

"We want the city to be comfortable and interesting, for people to be able to walk around, to ride their bicycles. We want to change the city so that people don't have to travel long distances", said the mayor, certain, however, that in order to do so, "we have to do things differently".

And, in regard to doing things differently, there are new metro lines being built, the change to hydrogen and the electric mode in STCP buses.

Throughout the afternoon, the Eurocities Mobility Forum promoted dialogue and the exchange of experiences. The vice-mayor of Porto City Hall and also president of the network's Environment Forum, Filipe Araújo, participated in the debate on "Zero emission solutions and climate resilience for urban nodes".

The panel, also consisting of the vice-mayor of the Swedish capital city of Stockholm, Lars Strömgren, the councillor for mobility of the Dutch region of Twente, Hanneke Steen, and the vice-mayor of Cologne in Germany, Andreas Wolter, will look at the role of cities in promoting the decarbonisation of public transport and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as other measures that contribute to achieving Europe's climate goals.

In a second moment, the Mobility Forum focused on "The multimodal revolution with public transport in the centre". The panel will be attended by the councillor for Urban Planning and Public Space, Pedro Baganha, the Vice-President of Strasbourg, in France, Alain Jund, the Director of Infrastructure Planning and Mobility of the Spanish capital, Madrid Lola Ortiz, and the Head of Transport Development Policy and Strategy of the city of Brno, in the Czech Republic, Iva Rorečková.