Las Palmas wins CIVITAS resilience award for pandemic response

September 30, 2020

by Christophe Carey

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria won the Resilience Award at the CIVITAS Awards 2020 for its mobility response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Spanish city’s “Mobility Plan for the New Normal” combined a rapid response with a long-term vision for the future of mobility, which included the expansion of pedestrian areas and cycle paths, lowering of limits speed and promoting the use of public transport.

Speaking at the virtual awards ceremony, Jose Eduardo Ramirez, Adviser, Mobility Department, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, said: “We are proud that this initiative at European level has rewarded our efforts to improve people’s lives through sustainable mobility. For us, this is fundamental for the well-being of all.

Porto and Rome were finalists in the same category, with the introduction by Porto of a program of sharing electric scooters and “parklets” (replacing parking spaces for various uses) receiving praise from the judges.

This year’s awards were held on the sidelines of the European Commission’s first Urban Mobility Days, a three-day online event that brings together mobility experts from across Europe to discuss the latest trends and developments in transport.

Opportunities and threats

Funchal, Portugal won the ‘Legacy’ award for its reconfiguration of city streets from a car-centric to a people-centric model, with Bruno Martins, Funchal City Councilor for Urban Mobility , saying the award marked a “real highlight” for the city.

The winning cities will receive a trophy and have been invited to speak in the debate during the Urban Mobility Days, alongside other recent winners of the European Sustainable Mobility Prize.

Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director General of DG MOVE, European Commission, said: “It’s amazing how these cities have shown such resilience, resourcefulness and adaptability in this area. which was already an ever-changing mobility landscape, even before the COVID-19 crisis. They understood that great times require bold action.

“Ad hoc initiatives – such as pop-up cycle lanes, additional space around public transport stops and sections of new pedestrian areas – have been essential in helping people move around and meet safely. security throughout the pandemic, ”he noted. “I hope that many of them will become permanent features. But many cities also face a threat to the provision and financing of public transport, which is a major challenge. “

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