Forum 2012, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
CIVITAS Forum 2012/CIVITAS Plus Final Conference to take place Mon-Wed 24th-26th September
Vitoria-Gasteiz is the capital of the autonomous community of the Basque country and the province of Alava in northern Spain. It has a population of 235,000 and an area of roughly 280 km2. It is now known across Europe as the 2012 Green Capital and was therefore looking forward to making the CIVITAS Forum 2012 and the city a reference point for sustainability in Europe.
The conference was the 10th such annual event, following fora previously hosted in various quarters of Europe including Funchal, Malmö, Krakow, Bologna and Kaunas since the series started in 2003. It was a combined event that also served as the CIVITAS Plus Final Conference. For this reason, the occasion ran over three days from Monday - Wednesday 24 - 26 September. The organisers hosted again an exchange of dialogue and views between CIVITAS Forum cities and European politicians on the one hand, and experts in the field of urban mobility on the other. The CIVITAS Forum Network currently includes over 200 cities from 32 European countries, that have formally committed to clean and sustainable urban transport.
The city of Vitoria-Gasteiz was an ideal location for the Forum, thanks not only to its well preserved medieval district, which was declared a monumental site in 1987 but also because it offers 42m² of green space per person. However, the city’s unprecedented growth, challenges it to live up to its reputation for sustainable urban planning.
Not surprisingly, these themes have found their way into the agenda of the Forum 2012 conference. Thus in the quest for creating ‘livable’ cities, the conference explored successful aspects of sustainable mobility and public space planning. Many of Vitoria-Gasteiz’s successes were on display and through site visits by bike, on foot and by bus, participants were invited to discover urban mobility in a European Green Capital. In this way, the city’s contributions to CIVITAS MODERN demonstrated how CIVITAS has helped to reorganise traffic to free up public spaces, redefine public transport to improve accessibility and coverage, consolidate its network of cycling paths, set up networks of pedestrian walkways and identify parking and freight infrastructure.
As the CIVITAS Plus Final Conference, the event also reflected on four years of CIVITAS Plus and gave significant visibility to the results of the third phase of the Initiative. In doing so, its 25 demonstration cities reflected on their progress in preparing or updating mobility plans and how they served as frameworks for the variety of measures they have introduced. As the participating cities looked to answer the question, “Where do we go from here?” CIVITAS Plus handed over the baton to those new cities participating in the fourth phase of the CIVITAS Initiative: CIVITAS Plus II. The plenaries and award ceremony have been live streamed.
For more details, please contact the CIVITAS Secretariat.