Korean City of Suwon Offers Preview of Sustainable Urban Future
Suwon City in South Korea will not wait until global leaders agree on plans for a sustainable future. Its citizens will demonstrate a sustainable urban lifestyle in a neighborhood during a month-long EcoMobility Festival in September of next year, Mayor Tae-young Yeom announced at the opening of the ICLEI World Congress 2012 in Belo Horizonte today.
The EcoMobility Festival 2013 will be held in September 2013, organized by the South Korean City of Suwon in cooperation with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and UN-Habitat.
The EcoMobility Festival will present a real-life vision of car-free urban living in the future. It will transform a neighborhood in Suwon into a car-free, green neighborhood, with Suwon’s residents playing an active role in demonstrating an ecomobile lifestyle.
Mayor Yeom, Tae-young of Suwon City has already expressed that “with this Festival, we will work together to show what an ecomobile city looks like and deliver the message that this new urban lifestyle is possible”.
Mayor Yeom, Tae-young of Suwon City said that “with this Festival, we will work together to show what an ecomobile city looks like and deliver the message that this new urban lifestyle is possible”. He added that “being able to commute in an affordable and environmentally friendly way, while at the same time feeling healthy, enjoying urban public space and being more socially included – this is what EcoMobility means and what the Festival will showcase”.
The Festival will also serve as a cultural and educational event for citizens, NGOs, cyclists and pedestrian associations, businesses, educational institutions and universities worldwide.
The organizers have launched a call to designers, developers and producers of non-motorized and light electric vehicles and mobility aids to provide their products to the residents of the pilot neighborhood for the duration of the Festival. “The world should see what alternatives to the car are out there”, said Konrad Otto-Zimmermann, Secretary General of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and initiator and Creative Director of the EcoMobility Festival project. Otto-Zimmermann stated “The EcoMobility Festival will be exciting for all: the Suwon citizens will demonstrate healthy and environmentally-friendly mobility; the EcoMobility industry can promote their vehicles and test innovative products; city decision makers and urban planners from all over the world will visit Suwon and gain an impression of ‘urban EcoMobility in action’”.
Mr. Otto-Zimmermann also said, “The Festival project will produce reports and film documentaries that will be used by city councils, pedestrians and cyclists associations, environmental organizations in the education of town and transport planners”. The EcoMobility Festival is a unique project of ICLEI’s EcoMobility initiative.
Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, stated: “Urban mobility is extremely important in the development of environmentally sustainable cities and towns because it allows inhabitants to access the services and realize the economic and social benefits of living in well-planned proximity. We are pleased to support the EcoMobility Festival and look forward to showcasing the cities of the future”.
As a legacy and a gift to the city of Belo Horizonte, Mayor Yeom handed over a wooden bicycle toy to the ‘Municipal Unities of Children Education’. Representing EcoMobility, this wooden bicycle lets children play with an ecomobile vehicle encouraging them to work towards a sustainable future.