The idea of EcoMobility World Festivals emerged in 2010. ICLEI took on to co-organize, with host cities, a series of such festivals.
Let me briefly explain how the idea of EcoMobility World Festival emerged.
Whenever I meet city leaders and we talk about future urban transport, they easily agree to follow the "ecomobility" paradigm (priority order: walking, cycling, use of public transport) in their policy making and planning. However, I often doubt if the image in their mind is the image of a truly ecomobile city. Therefore I decided to disseminate images of an ecomobile city, but not just drawings or computer animations nor piecemeals of pictures from various cities that have implemented partial solutions. In wanted to see ecomobile cities, car-free street scenes with real people in real cities in real time. This brought me to the idea of working with cities and their citizens on staging a month-long mise-en-scène of an ecomobile neighborhood. In order to gain political acceptance and citizens' cooperation, I framed this type of project as a festival. It should be attractive and fun for everone involved.
As Secretary General of ICLEI, the global association of cities and local governments for sustainability, I mentioned the idea to Mayors whenever the occasion for an informal chat arose, and waited until a Mayor would say: let's do it in my city.
In the year 2011 Mayor Tae-yung Yeom of Suwon City (South Korea) caught interest in the idea and concept of EcoMobility World Festivals, consulted with city council, city officials and stakeholders, and announced at the EcoMobility 2011 congress in Changwon that his city would host the first festival. It was then held from 1-30 September 2013.
Similarly, Executive Mayor Parks Tau of Johannesburg (South Africa) learned about this type of project during a conversation over dinner we had in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. After thorough consultation locally, he decided that Johannesburg would host the second festival and formally announced it at an event in October 2014. The festival took then place from 1-31 October 2015.
A delegation from Kaohsiung City (Chinese Taipei / Taiwan) experienced the first festival in Suwon. Subsequently, Mayor Chen Chu decided that her city would organize the third festival. On the occasion of the second festival in Johannesburg, Kaohsiung City publicly announced that it will host the third EcoMobility World Festival from 1-31 October 2017.
This website serves as a gateway to the documentation of the EcoMobility World Festivals by websites, reports, books and video documentaries.
Please have a look at the main menu bar and select the festival you are interested in.
An EcoMobility World Festival is a month-long mise-en-scène of urban mobility and transport, as we would like to see it in the future. It is the temporary transformation of infrastructure and traffic regulations to make citizens switch from the private automobile to walking, cycling and using public transport. It invites citizens to try out behavioral change and to collectively experience a different scenario of urban mobility.
The term "ecomobility" was introduced in the year 2007. Although it is still fairly young, it is now widely used in the local government sphere and by the urban and transport planning communities.