There is little sustainable transport in Cyprus compared to other European countries, something that has severe repercussions, mainly increasing the amount of pollutants in the atmosphere and health problems among the population, Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou said on Friday.
In her address at the ‘From Pollutants to Sustainable Energy’ conference she talked about the importance of sustainable urban mobility plans, strategic business plans with a holistic approach that aim to meet the mobility needs of people today and in the future aimed at improving the quality of life in the cities and their surroundings.
“Sustainable mobility is linked to wider objectives which we are committed to at a global and European level: sustainable cities, tackling climate change, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and making energy more efficient,” she said.
Sustainable mobility is a factor which plays a decisive role in the development of a city and means changing the everyday life and culture of its inhabitants, she added.
The main axes of sustainability mobility are urban planning, transport planning, the utilisation of the city’s transport infrastructure and public transport and the exploitation of new technologies.
The sustainable city of the future, she added, is undoubtedly a more ecological and more resilient structure. It meets the objectives of sustainable development and social cohesion and continuously improves the living conditions and everyday life of its people.
“The immediate and future challenges for politics and planning, the difficulties arising from the bureaucratic organisation of the state and the mistakes of the past, not combining separate policies into a holistic approach and the lack of coordination have been obstacles so far.”
The state should not implement counterproductive policies, Panayiotou stressed. The more roads there are for private vehicles, the more they are used, while if we build cycle paths and pedestrian zones, these will be used increasingly.
This will contribute to the mitigation of traffic problems, the sustainability of urban centres, and ensure the reduction of pollutants, thereby protecting the environment and the health of people.