Faro, Silves, Loulé, Olhão, São Brás de Alportel, Lagos and Monchique are the Algarve municipalities that, this year, mark the European Mobility Week, with emphasis on energy efficiency.
The 2023 edition, which began on September 16th, with activities throughout the country, and ends on September 22nd, has the participation of 41 countries and 112 Portuguese municipalities.
This year, with the theme “Energy Efficiency” and as slogan promotional “Combina e Move-te”, the various participating municipalities will develop their action programs with objectives such as encouraging sustainable mobility and promoting active transport.
Em Faro, Jardim Manuel Bivar is being the central point of the daily agenda, with entertainment (with music and hobbies), training possibilities (particularly regarding the use of bicycles and Road Safety), awareness campaigns, offers of wheelchairs transporting children on bicycles, cinema sessions, walks, cycling and rollerblading trips, workshops, moments of debate and recreational-scientific activities, among other initiatives.
The Municipality of Farense also highlights two exhibitions: one of them entitled “Faro, routes of up to 152 minutes – walk”, visible on the various billboards placed in the city, and “Bikes Trans”, which can be seen in the streets and shops downtown, which are thus associated with yet another edition of this European Week.
Another highlight will once again be World Car Free Day, which is celebrated on September 22nd, namely with the Seminar “Faro and the Railway – The future of mobility”, between 14:30 pm and 17:00 pm, at Hotel Eva, being accessible to the entire population.
The opening session will be guaranteed by Sophie Matias, councilor for Urban Mobility at the Chamber, who will address topics related to smooth mobility and ongoing projects promoted by the municipality, such as the circulation and parking plan, the intelligent traffic light network, the urban public transport networks, the cycle path that will connect Faro to Olhão and the Patacão intermodal station.
Manuel Tão (transport specialist and researcher at the University of Algarve), Susana Castelo (director and senior consultant at TIS – Consultores) and José Apolinário (president of CCDR Algarve) will also participate in this event.
Issues linked to accessibility, such as the National Railway Plan and the future of the Algarve line, the need for the connection branch to the Airport, the presentation of the study on the Patacão Intermodal Station of the Metrobus Project for the Central Algarve and the importance of Faro as a point of connection to Spain are some of the issues to be addressed this afternoon, which will end with an intervention by the President of the Chamber Rogério Bacalhau.
Car traffic will be closed in Cidade Velha and the vicinity of Jardim Manuel Bivar – except for public transport, priority vehicles and loading and unloading – thus favoring smooth mobility in these parts of the city. This closure takes place on the 16th (between 10am and 00pm), on the 23th (between 00am and 17pm) and on the 10th to 00nd September, between 14am and 00pm.
In Silves, the launch of the public tender for the exploration and installation of 14 charging points for electric vehicle batteries, on the 18th, the start of work on the preparation of the municipality's Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (PMUS) and the “Race to the 6th Silves Runners fair”, the 22nd, are the initiatives.
The European Mobility Week, in Silves, will culminate on Friday, September 29th, with the meeting to kick off the work of the Silves PMUS, within which proposals for a municipality with more sustainable urban mobility will be discussed.
As in previous years, in Loulé, the City Council participates in this event with a set of activities, integrating, at the same time, FAVA – Algarve Environment and Vegan Fair, and opens the doors to another edition of “PARK(ing) DAY – Occupy your place in the city”.
The program has bicycle tours and gatherings, round tables dedicated to mobility and sustainability, children's activities and entertainment, including a 360º projection planetarium, story time, GNR road track, sports activities, free health and wellness screenings. -being, participation of exhibitors dedicated to this subject and street entertainment.
On the 22nd of September, European Car Free Day, the round table/debate “What is the Future of Today's Cities?” will take place from 18:00 pm to 19:30 pm, at Largo do Monumento Engº Duarte Pacheco.
The round table will address waste management, water management, energy self-sufficiency, climate refuges, forests in cities, food self-sufficiency, urban mobility and the circular economy. Moderation is in charge of Uwe Heitkamp, founder of the publication ECO123.
At 19pm, the urban bike tour around Loulé, “Massa Crítica”, takes place. This will be an informal tour, in the spirit of these demonstrations that take place in several cities around the world, every last Friday of the month.
The school community will also have an active participation in these celebrations. The Padre Cabanita School Group will carry out a bicycle tour along the city's main arteries, involving the entire educational and civil community that wants to join. The departure will be at 10 am and the route includes a passage through the city center.
The Almancil School Group also celebrates this day at Escola EB2,3 Prof. Dr. António de Sousa Agostinho, where various bicycle activities will take place within the school grounds.
On the 23rd, at 11 am, at Largo do Monumento Engº Duarte Pacheco, the round table/debate “The Voluntary Carbon Market in Portugal” will be highlighted, moderated by Miguel Freitas, former Secretary of State for Forests and Rural Development .
The protocol signed between Loulé City Council and CEIIA – Engineering and Development Center will be one of the starting points of this session.
This will be followed by the presentation of the “Essence of the Environment” award to the Loulé municipality in the same place. The award promoted by the communication and public relations company 'Essência – Comunicação Completa', in the “Good Practices” category, aims to distinguish Loulé City Council for the project “Reuse of Treated Wastewater in a School Context”, implemented at the EB2,3 Padre School João Coelho Cabanita.
Also on this day is the 1st gathering of electric bicycle users: an event that aims to celebrate smooth urban mobility as a response to cities' sustainable development objectives.
Starting at 11:00 am, participants will have the following activities at their disposal: welcome drink for those who bring their bicycle or scooter, free bicycle check-up service, bicycle training, road driving course for children and exhibition and Test-drive of urban, cargo and electric bicycles.
On both days, another edition of FAVA – Algarve Environmental and Vegan Fair.
In addition to the food and drink, clothing, cosmetics and crafts sections, companies, brands and associations that have solutions for animal protection, sustainable agriculture, circular economy and electric mobility are presented.
FAVA also presents a program with around 30 free shows and activities with music, circus, theater, exhibitions, debates, show cooking, workshops, planetarium, meditation and physical exercise.
On both days, part of the car traffic on Av. 25 de Abril, as well as R. Ascensão Guimarães, will be closed from 18:00 pm to 23:00 pm (22nd) and from 11:00 am to 23:00 pm (23rd), promoting the Municipality of Loulé at that time an on-site animation and awareness program.
In Olhão, this year, participation in the European Mobility Week highlights the presentation of the municipal network of electric chargers, which saw their number increased.
Another of the concepts presented is that of the 15 Minute City, which will soon be applied to the city.
«The general conception of a 15 Minute City is that each person can have access to all essential services, such as schools, health centers, and commerce, cultural facilities and green spaces, without having to travel long distances: in maximum, 15 minutes on foot», explains the municipality.
Furthermore, the protocol is signed for the preparation of a study whose objective will be to define the role of the Ria Formosa marine meadows in the sequestration of greenhouse gases, so that Olhão can achieve carbon neutrality before the defined objective of 2050 .
The rules for safe circulation of scooters, bicycles and electric motorcycles will be the subject of an awareness-raising campaign carried out by the Public Security Police among students at Escola Secundária Dr. Francisco Fernandes Lopes.
Two initiatives that took place last year are also back: the exhibition of accident cars, which this year will be on display in the central divider of Avenida da República, and which highlights the main causes and consequences of road accidents, and the Traffic School, a Municipal Police project that takes the topic of road safety to schools in a fun and educational way.
On the 22nd, children will also play a fundamental role in this Mobility Week: motorists traveling on Avenida 5 de Outubro will be approached by “hand and a half” police officers, who will accompany Municipal Police officers on a mission to raise awareness about safe driving within the city.
In São Brás de Alportel, cars are closed on Rua Dr. Alberto de Sousa, between the Municipal Swimming Pools roundabout and the Escola Poeta Bernardo de Passos roundabout.
Lagos marks Mobility Week with the free “A ONDA” transport network. For those wanting a more themed tour, there is the Lagos Tourist Train, which will also be free on September 22nd, between 10am and 00pm and 13pm and 00pm.
With a view to promoting a healthier lifestyle, several initiatives are also carried out. On the 16th, Lagos em Forma had activities at the Municipal Swimming Pool throughout the day and in the gyms between 14pm and 00pm. On the 19th, at 00 am, in partnership with local sports clubs, the municipality promoted a family outing on bicycles, scooters and/or skateboard, with departure and arrival at Praça do Infante. For lovers of more intense sports, the Municipal Stadium was today the stage for activities cross fit, to 9h30.
On the 22nd, at 21pm, there will be the “Night Luminous Walk”, starting and ending at Praça do Infante.
In this municipality, the school community will also be involved. The Centro Ciência Viva de Lagos had activities available to the municipality's 1st cycle students (Experimental Sciences) on the theme “Energy Efficiency” (on September 17th also available to families).
At Escolas Tecnopolis and das Naus, the 18th was dedicated to a demonstration of maneuvers with bicycles, and Pé no Pedal (municipal project for teaching the use of bicycles in schools) will have activities in primary schools in the municipality.
Also integrated into the concept of this European initiative, a presentation of mobility projects in Lagos is scheduled for September 27th, at 15 pm, in the 00st Century Town Hall Auditorium.
In Monchique, parking will be prohibited in the section of Rua de São Pedro, Largo Comendador José Joaquim Águas (Portela), Rua Dr. Samora Gil and Calçada de Santo António.
On these days, the urban transport service, within Vila de Monchique and with two daily stops in Caldas de Monchique, is free to reduce vehicle circulation.
From the 18th until the 21st, schools are also hosting presentations on the theme “Energy Efficiency”.
Furthermore, the Mobility walk is scheduled for September 22nd, at 9:30 am, with an easy route of five kilometers.
European Mobility Week was launched in 2002, after the success of European Car Free Day (2000 and 2001), more specifically on 19 April, during Green Week, in Brussels, by the Commissioner for the Environment and with political and of the European Commission.
This campaign is a partnership between the European Coordination, local authorities and the European Commission.