1. ICLEI Member News
Vitoria-Gasteiz is the cycling capital of Spain, reveals survey
A new survey has revealed that cycling rates almost doubled in the last three years in ICLEI member Vitoria-Gasteiz, making it the Spanish city with the largest share of cycling in relation to other transport modes. The percentage of people cycling rose to 12.3 percent in 2014, up from 6.8 percent in 2011. The survey was conducted by the Polytechnic University of Madrid’s Transport Research Centre and Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council.
MEP Michael Cramer, chair of the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism, congratulated the city for its achievement, saying: "Vitoria-Gasteiz shows that political commitment at the top, a dedicated administration and a participative approach can quickly and considerably increase the share of cyclists in cities outside the established European cycling nations." To improve its cycling rate, the city took part in the European Biking Cities project, which brought together six European cities with ambitious cycling policies to exchange experiences.
In 2008 the city adopted a Sustainable Mobility and Public Space Plan that was supplemented in 2010 with a Master Plan for Cyclist Mobility. As part of this, an ambitious goal of achieving a 15 percent cycling modal share by 2020 was set. The latest figures show that the city is on track to meet its target.
For more information, visit cleanair-europe.org.
Image copyright: The cycling success story of Vitoria-Gasteiz by "Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council"
Vantaa trials self-driving minibuses
The Finnish City of Vantaa is moving into the future with the trial of four self-driving electric minibuses. The buses will ferry up to ten passengers over a 1.5km route, and will be observed from a main control room. The trial will begin in early July and last until the start of August.
A series of in-built sensors will enable the vehicles to detect obstacles in their path, and take action to avoid them. If the obstacle cannot be avoided, the minibus will come to a halt. As the route will be shared with cyclists and pedestrians, the vehicles are programmed to move quite slowly, mitigating the likelihood of serious accidents.
A similar pilot took place in Oristano (Italy) in 2014, while larger-scale demonstrations are planned in La Rochelle (France), Milan (Italy) and the West Lausanne region in Switzerland. The Vantaa trial is being held as part of the CityMobil2 project.
For more information, visit Eltis.
Image copyright: City of Vantaa
Southeast County Gran Canaria looks back at 25 years of cooperation
The municipalities of Agüimes, Ingenio and Santa Lucia (Spain) are celebrating 25 years of fruitful cooperation. The Canary Islands municipalities, which came together under the banner of the Intermunicipal Association of Southeast Gran Canaria in 1990 and joined ICLEI in 2008, have been internationally recognised for their commitment to sustainable development over the years, including winning three UN-supported LIVCom Awards and coming in third place in the category of “Best Practice in Water Management” at the 2014 UN Water Awards.
The three municipalities initially joined together as Southeast Country Gran Canaria to address poverty and water scarcity. Today the area boasts the first integral water cycle powered by renewable energy in the world. Through seawater desalination and wastewater treatment, which is partially powered by renewable energy, the county can now fully satisfy residents’ demand for potable water.
The three municipalities have endorsed the principles of sustainability since its formation and are committed to the "Charter of European Cities towards Sustainability”, better known as the “Aalborg Charter". The association has also launched an ambitious Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development in the areas of water, energy and food self-sufficiency.
For more information, visit the association website [in Spanish].
Image copyright: Mancomunidad Intermunicipal del Sureste de Gran Canaria