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Kaunas Municipality: Towards a Green and Healthy Sustainable Mobility

The effects of economic growth and increasing population in urban areas are challenging many countries, including those that historically have been integrating human settlements in a naturalistic environment, like Lithuania.

To address these challenges, the Kaunas City Municipality and the Ministries of Health, Environment and Transport of the Republic of Lithuania hosted a Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Programme (THE PEP) workshop “Improvement of Sustainable Urban Mobility for Better Health and Environment: Move to improve” from 24 to 25 September. The workshop called on more than 150 participants from the environmental, health, and transport sectors at national and local level for renewed efforts to prevent pollution and create favourable health-friendly conditions for citizens.

During the workshop, a new 5.5 km-long cycling path along the Neris River bank – Jotvingių Street was launched. At the opening ceremony, Andrius Kupčinskas, Mayor of Kaunas City,  said “We have a vision of becoming a green city through sustainable mobility, which is the responsibility of all. Kaunas City is already the proud owner of the longest (2 km) pedestrian street in Europe. The city will further promote cycling as part of the sustainable mobility policy by extending the cycling path up to 130 km”.

UNECE presented its transport initiatives on Sustainable Public Transport and Mobility and For Future Inland Transport Systems (ForFITS), as well as the results of the analyses carried out for Kaunas City. The WHO Regional Office for Europe presented THE PEP tool entitled Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT), including a cost-benefit analysis of increased active mobility in Kaunas.

The workshop was held in the framework of THE PEP Relay Race, a series of capacity-building events to share best practices across different regions.

At the end of the two day workshop, the Mayor and other representatives from the Municipality of Kaunas adopted a number of commitments, containing specific measures to help achieve sustainable and healthy mobility and transport by 2023. These are the contributions of Kaunas to the implementation of the commitments taken by the Lithuanian Government in the Declaration of the Fourth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment in Paris on 15 April 2014.

For more information, please visit: http://www.unece.org/thepep/en/welcome.html