MINSK, 18 September (BelTA) – This year 76 Belarusian cities and towns have joined the European Mobility Week, which is a record high since the country started participating in this campaign, Oksana Yuchkovich, a consultant with the department for regulation of impacts on the air, climate change and examination at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection, said at the press conference on 17 September, BelTA has learned.
“The European Mobility Week is an annual international campaign which runs from 16 to 22 September to raise public awareness of the excessive use of private vehicles. The campaign has a new theme every year, and this year it is about promoting cycling and walking in urban area with a spotlight on pedestrians. The 2019 theme is represented by the slogan Walk with Us! The European Mobility Week will wrap up on 22 September with the traditional urban environmental event Car Free Day. The event debuted in Minsk in 2008 and since then our cities take an active part in this event. A record high number of 76 Belarusian cities and towns have registered on the European Mobility Week website this year. Last year the number was 66. The campaign gains popularity with each year,” Oksana Yuchkovich said.
According to her, the country needs to reduce the number of transport on the roads as 63% of air polluting emissions are due to motor vehicles. In Minsk this share is even higher – 88%. Therefore the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection urges citizens no to use personal transport and opt for public transport, cycling and walking. The country also popularizes segways, monowheels, scooters.
“It is obvious that people will not be able to completely give up personal transport during the Mobility Week and Car-Free Day. With this event, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Protection is trying to raise awareness and encourage everyone to do something to improve the quality of urban life,” Oksana Yuchkovich said.