Formally known as European Mobility Week, started out as a regional campaign to raise awareness about mobility and urban transportation issues. Over the years it has become a global phenomenon and countries all around the world now participate and hold events of their own, as well as implement permanent mobility-related measures in their cities or towns. Cities, towns or organisations can register on the Mobility Week website and enter to win a Mobility Week award. There’s even a Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning award.
The campaign provides resources for cities to hold their own events in the form of manuals, flyers, posters, and best practices guides. They also have resources from previous years. All the participating cities and organisations are listed on their website along with how they will be participating. The campaign has so much to offer! And is a great tool for countries that are just starting to experience a “sustainability revolution” like Jamaica.
So, how is any of this relevant for Jamaica now? As usual, it is important to dream big for our little island. There’s so many negative stories in the news that we cannot control, but there are little things we can try to improve and build up our country. We can do our part for the environment by choosing to use public transportation a few times a week or carpooling with friends or coworkers. And of course, using a bicycle when you’re not in a hurry or just because you can or feel like it.
This year the European Commission also launched the Social Biking Challenge in an effort to encourage cycling to become more of a social habit. This challenge is geared towards cyclists in Europe but it’s something we can all try on our own. Remember, cycling is a low start-up cost activity. Not to say that everyone has money set aside for recreational activities, but if you do, it’s something you should consider.
Cycle Jamaica is a relatively new campaign, and it is not unusual to not gain followers or change people’s minds at this stage of development. Change takes time but hopefully next year this time Cycle Jamaica and other organisations are holding their own events to participate in Mobility Week. This year, a single city, Morne-A-l’Eau in Guadeloupe (apparently twinned with Kingston) is the sole participant in the Caribbean.
If a city near you was holding a week of events for Mobility Week would you participate?