Third CIVINET Forum successfully held in Varaždin
On the 15th of June the Third CIVINET Forum was successfully held in Varaždin. Around 60 members of the CIVINET Slovenia – Croatia – JIE Network gathered, as well as other actors interested in the topic of sustainable mobility. The topic of the Forum was “Sustainable mobility and integrated passenger transport in the function of positive demographic trends”. Event was organized by Varaždin County and ODRAZ, the Secretariat of the CIVINET.
Srđan Škunca, Network coordinator, pointed out that public transport organization helps reduce the depopulation trends: ˝We know that a better transport organization is not the only factor that will help depopulation, but it is certainly not irrelevant either. In that sense, we have organized several presentations by our colleagues from Croatia and abroad. We want to build integrated transport in the cities and all urban areas of the Republic of Croatia and make every corner of our country accessible for the citizens’ journey˝.
Among other things, the main goal of the Forum was to exchange experiences from the area where integrated transport has already been experienced, and as the Deputy Prefect of Varaždin County Robert Vugrin emphasized: ˝the goal is to keep people in our region and raise public transport to a much better quality level˝. Vugrin also said that he is very proud that the forum was held in Varaždin: ˝the CIVINET approach advocates that public transport, cycling and hiking are as important as the car, as it is the only long-term, ecologically, financially, viable way of transport. In the city of Varaždin, the car is used in more than two thirds of cases, and in Varaždin County it is 90 percent. We are aware that this information can not be changed overnight, but we have to prepare the basis for the alternative, which is a quality public transport. Through such forums, we want to share experiences, examples of good practice with other cities and regions˝.
Professor Janez Koželj, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana, pointed out that ˝we need to exchange experiences so that we can start with implementing necessary reforms because cities are built for people, not cars. We especially need alliances on examples of good practice, which can be achieved precisely through the CIVINET Network. In Ljubljana, we have already achieved much in terms of integrated transport and we want to share our positive experiences and our mistakes with other members˝.
The moderator of the Forum was Ante Klečina, senior referent for projects in the traffic area of Varaždin County.
Examples of Good Practice of Sustainable Mobility presented at the Forum were the following:
- RUMOBIL – Sustainable public transport systems for rural regions that have a positive impact on demography // Papp Bence, City of Nagykálló, Hungary; Gábor Zimborán, County of Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Hungary
- Transfermuga – a common search engine for sustainable transport services to Aquitaine, Basque and Navarre // Julien de Labaca, Eurorégion Nouvelle-Aquitaine Euskadi Navarre, EGTC, France
- Varaždin County Towards Sustainable Mobility – New Line for Zagreb and Integrated Passenger Line Pilot // Ante Klečina, Varaždin County
- Socio-spatial determinants of preference for the active transport modes – An Example of National Research on Traveling Habits in Croatia // Dr. Geran Marko Miletić, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb
In the second part of the Forum, a panel discussion “Tools and experiences in the development of sustainable mobility for positive demographic trends” was held. The panel was attended by Ivan Šimunec from Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, professor Janez Koželj, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana, Srđan Škunca, Network coordinator, and professor Aleksandar Lukić from the Department of Geography of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, University of Zagreb.
At the end of the event, the City of Varaždin presented the European CityWalk project, which helps cities in the Danube Region to reduce emissions, noise and to become safer, better places to live, by increasing the role of more sustainable forms of mobility in the urban transport mix, especially active transport forms – like walking and biking. To do so the main focus of project is to improve the key conditions of walkability.
After the official part of the program for all interested participants, a tour of Varaždin was organized.