During the Governing Council meeting in Nairobi last week, UN-Habitat and Secretary General Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) announced the EcoMobility World Festival due in September 2013 in the city of Suwon, South Korea.
City Scapes - An aerial view of Seoul. © Madanmohan Rao
The festival will be held within the walls of Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage site which contains some of the oldest neighborhoods in the city.
Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat made the announcement at a press conference while was accompanied by the Secretary General Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) Mr. Gino Van Begin and Mr. Chan-Woo Kim, Republic of Korea's Ambassador to Kenya and Permanent Representative to UN-Habitat.
Mr. Begin and Mr. Chan-Woo Ki, extended a warm invitation to delegates to the city of Suwon to participate in the Festival and promised them an experience that would last a life-time. Citizens, Governmental and non-governmental organizations, elected city representatives, educational institutions, transport associations and operators, the private sector and Media from all over the world are expected to attend the Festival.
Remarking on the festival, Dr. Clos, stressed the importance of planning cities at the human scale and the need to give attention to adequate strets, street-connectivity and public spaces for ensuring that fast-growing cities become vibrant "engines" of economic and social development in countries.
EcoMobility is travel through integrated, socially inclusive, and environmentally-friendly transport options, including and integrating walking, cycling and wheeling. By enabling citizens and organizations to access goods, services and information in a sustainable manner, EcoMobility supports citizens' quality of life, increases travel choices and promotes social cohesion.
Organized though collaboration between the city of Suwon, ICLEI and UN-Habitat, the EcoMobility World Festival 2013 is taking place in a real city, with real inhabitants, in real life. The residents of Haenggung-dong neighborhood in Suwon, South Korea will temporarily adopt an ecomobile lifestyle to experience how Eco-Mobility can influence their lives positively. The Festival will show how Eco-Mobility provides innovative environmentally friendly transport options within a city to all citizens irrespective of age, gender or physical capability.
The Festival will showcase the latest eco-mobile technologies, applying them to a real city environment and is expected to bring together, policy makers, city-planners and experts across the world and will show how one neighborhood can make the change from using private cars to eco-mobile modes of transport.