Vitoria-Gasteiz: A new European role model for sustainable urban transport is making headlines
After a Clean Air study trip for journalists, media articles across Europe praise the Basque capital city Vitoria-Gasteiz as a positive role model. "In just ten years Vitoria has completely transformed itself from a car-dominated, polluted city to one of the most pedestrian and bicycle-friendly in Europe (and probably the world)" writes for example the award winning online publication "This Big City". The complete media coverage is listed below this article.
Vitoria-Gasteiz with 245,000 inhabitants was a partner city of the Clean Air sub-project European Biking Cities. The recent 2014 mobility survey showed the share of cycling in Vitoria-Gasteiz almost doubled in the past three years to 12.3%. This made Vitoria-Gasteiz the new cycling capital of Spain and the Clean Air project invited a group of seven European journalists to a study trip in June 2015 to learn and report about this success story.
The municipality's Environmental Studies Centre (CEA) briefed participants of the journalist trip on the ambitious Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan and the complementary Bicycle Mobility Master Plan 2010 - 2015. Both were established with strong backing across party lines. As a result, a tramway was build, a high frequency bus network was established, pedestrian zones were expanded and street space was redistributed in favor of walking, cycling and lingering activities.
Describing Vitoria-Gasteiz' formular of success, CEA director Juan Carlos Escudero told the European journalist: "Changing your own lifestyle is not very easy. But when citizens experience the advantages of the city’s transformation, they enjoy it."
Participants of the journalist trip where impressed by the city´s tranquil but lively public space and enjoyed the cycling infrastructure on a joint bike tour. “This is an extremely liveable city”, says German journalist Andrea Reidl (ZEIT Online). "Great infrastructure for cylists and pedestrians, efficient public transport and short distances as result of strategic city planning make it very easy for people to stop using cars."
Here is a collection of media reports by participants of the Clean Air study trip:
- "Vitoria-Gasteiz w Hiszpanii" by Gazeta Wyborcza Krakow, 26. June 2015 (English)
- "Imitate to innovate: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain (Sustainable Cities)" by urban planner and journalist Tom Payne, 19. July 2015 (English)
- "Mit dem Fahrrad zur lebenswerten Stadt" WDR 5 Leonardo-Wissenschaftsmagazin, 2. September 2015 (German), starts at min. 25.04
Print and online articles
- "Poznajcie miasto, w którym rowery wyprzedzaj? samochody" in: Gazeta Wyborcza Krakow, 27. June 2015 (Polish)
- "Imitate to Innovate: Vitoria-Gasteiz Shows How Cities can Address 21st Century Challenges" in: This Big City, 22. July 2015 (English)
- "«Clean air project» VITORIA-GASTEIZ" in: MBiKe, 23. July 2015 (Greek)
- "Vorbild für Verkehr in Berlin? Eine spanische Stadt bremst Autos aus - zugunsten der Radfahrer und Fußgänger" in: Der Tagesspiegel, 28. July 2015 (German)
- "Mit dem klaren Willen für mehr Radverkehr" in: ZEIT Online, 14. August 2015 (German)
- "Grüne Stadt für Menschen" in: Fairkehr 4/2015 (German)