The EU Urban Agenda becomes official as EU ministers endorse the Pact of Amsterdam.
With cities being increasingly seen as both the source of and solution to today's economic, environmental and social challenges, a greater focus on urban areas, and implicitly urban mobility, was deemed indispensable.
The much acclaimed Urban Agenda was officially launched at the informal ministerial meeting in Amsterdam on 31 May and sealed through the adoption of the Pact of Amsterdam.
The initial list of 12 priority themes includes urban mobility and the Pact states that ‘the objectives are to have a sustainable and efficient urban mobility. The focus will be on: public transport, soft mobility (walking, cycling, public space) and an efficient transport with good local and regional connectivity.‘
Moreover, one of the first pilot partnerships is dedicated to air quality and it is expected to take on board also issues of transport and mobility.
Each Priority Theme would be implemented through an Action Plan with concrete actions at EU, national and local level. It could also include projects as examples. The Action Plan would be a rolling document which can be updated when needed.
It is broadly recognized that urban areas can only improve their efficiency when using their agglomeration advantages. Air pollution in city centres and urban sprawl are now a common phenomenon throughout Europe, with no sign of any slowdown in this trend. Southern, Eastern and central parts of Europe are particularly at risk.
Although public transport in Central and Eastern Europe is undergoing a major quality shift and the ongoing and planned investments particularly in the 2014-2020 EU financial perspective are of substantial magnitude, the renewed attention on urban mobility through the EU Urban Agenda will only put progress on the fast track.
For more information on the EU Urban Agenda, please go here.
You can read the Pact of Amsterdam here.