Bilbao has won the European Urban Road Safety Award that is awarded each year by the European Commission within the framework of the European Mobility Week.
The announcement was made during an on-line ceremony held recently, which was attended by Adina Vălean, European Commissioner for Transport, and Matthew Baldwin, Deputy Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Transport and Mobility.
The EU Urban Road Safety Award highlights the contribution made by local authorities towards improving the safety of European roads, and rewards outstanding and innovative achievements in the area of road safety. The award will be presented during the European Mobility Week, which will be held from 16th to 22nd September.
One of the main reasons for the choice of Bilbao as winner of this award is the fact that the city has reduced the speed limit to 30 km/h throughout the entire city, which has made the capital of Vizcaya the world’s first city with over 300,000 inhabitants to apply such a measure.
Following the announcement, the Deputy Mayor and Councillor for Mobility and Sustainability in Bilbao City Council, Alfonso Gil, wanted to thank the European Commission for the award and share this international recognition with all of Bilbao’s residents, “because without their joint effort, it would have been impossible to place the capital of Vizcaya as a worldwide reference in sustainable and healthy urban mobility”.
“Today, Bilbao is being talked about all over the world for its mobility, for the city’s determined commitment to sustainable urban mobility, which aims to improve the quality of life of its people. Cities of the future are either for all or they are not cities of the future, and this is achieved through joint work”, he pointed out.
The reduction of the speed limit to 30 km/h is a transversal action that aims to efficiently lower traffic flow and foster the co-existence of different means of transport within a shared framework. It is expected that the results of this action will lead to improved pedestrian and cyclist conditions and safety and the reduction of noise pollution and contaminant emissions to the atmosphere, with the subsequent improvement in human health.
This measure is complemented with others, such as establishing continuous and safe pedestrian walkways, school routes and the creation of recreational areas around the centre of all the districts that make up Bilbao.
The other two finalists selected by the European Commission were Heraklion (Greece) and Quart de Poblet (Spain). Last year, Pontevedra was the winner of the European Urban Road Safety Awards.