Forum 2011, Funchal, Portugal
Funchal is the capital of the Maderan archipelago, whose 104,000 inhabitants occupy an area of 75km2. It is known worldwide for achieving equilibrium between history and nature. Within the CIVITAS Forum 2011 it balanced an exchange of dialogue and views between city and European politicians on the one hand, and experts in the field of urban mobility on the other.
During the conference, 200 cities reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable urban transport through the Funchal Statement that contains recommendations to the EU and was handed over during the final plenary to Daniela Rosca, Head of Unit of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport. Cities also called for EU leaders to commit to long-term funding to help them realise their ambitions.
The conference was the 9th such annual event, following fora previously hosted in various quarters of Europe including Malmö, Krakow, Bologna, Kaunas, Burgos, Nantes, Rotterdam and Graz since the series started in 2003. The CIVITAS Forum Network currently includes 209 cities from 31 European countries, that have formally committed to clean and sustainable urban transport.
The city of Funchal was both an unusual and ideal location for the Forum, thanks to its specific geographical characteristics as one of the European Union’s outermost regions. Located 800km west of the coast of Morocco in the North Atlantic Ocean, it is deemed one of the most beautiful natural amphitheatres of the world. It thrives as a major tourist town yet is significantly challenged in offering viable transport solutions because of its hilly terrain.
Funchal has worked hard to give the city ‘back’ to its citizens and tourists by promoting smart mobility options, constructing ring roads and pedestrianising the city centre. Many of these successes were on display at Forum 2011 as it invited participants to discover urban mobility in a very different context from mainland EU cities - an outermost island context! At the same time, Funchal's contributions to CIVITAS MIMOSA (and its to Funchal) were demonstrated through site visits to its limited traffic zones and innovative transport modes for tourists in hilly areas as well as to its green line bike transport and electric clean bus fleet.
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