The 10th anniversary of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE network was marked by the international conference “Cities for Climate Neutrality” in Ljubljana

30.03.2023 | Featured, Featured, ODRAZ news, ODRAZ news

The international conference with an emphasis on the exchange of regional experiences and good practices of sustainable urban mobility, held in Ljubljana from 22 to 24 March 2023, gathered over 150 participants from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Albania, Greece, Belgium, Germany and Hungary.

The central part of the conference was officially opened on March 23 by Zoran Janković, Mayor of the City of Ljubljana and Luka Korlaet, Deputy Mayor of the City of Zagreb, which currently holds the position of city coordinator of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-Southeast Europe network. The network celebrated its 10th anniversary with this three-day event.

It was an opportunity to gather Network members, cooperate with the partners of the ProSUMP project within the framework of the regional exchange of knowledge and good practices on comprehensive transport strategies in the countries of the Western Balkans, and to network with representatives of five Greek cities, members of the CIVINET Greece-Cyprus network, who were on a four-day study visit to Zagreb and Ljubljana.

The City of Ljubljana has been developing in line with the guidelines for sustainable city development for many years. The City’s efforts in promoting sustainable mobility should be highlighted. They were focused on this topics as the leading partner of the CIVITAS Elan project (2008 – 2012). After finishing the project, the Memorandum on the establishment of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia network was signed in Ljubljana on April 25, 2013. The establishment was encouraged by the cities of Ljubljana and Koprivnica, the Regional Center for Environmental Protection – REC Slovenia, ODRAZ – Sustainable Community Development and the Association of Cities in the Republic of Croatia. The goal of this network was to establish the exchange of good practices in the field of sustainable urban mobility.

When the Memorandum was signed, the Network consisted of 27 members (cities, organizations, research and educational institutions and companies). On February 10, 2016, it expanded to the area of the region and was renamed CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-Southeast Europe. It currently has more than 220 members from six countries and is the largest and most active CIVINET network in Europe.

The rich and varied program of the conference began on Wednesday, March 22, with the sustainable urban mobility workshop ProSUMP. The workshop covered the topic of institutionalization of urban mobility in the local self-government units of the Western Balkans, with proposals for new or improved organizational structures. The possibility of technical support and pilot projects were also presented. The workshop was co-organized by the Open Regional Fund for Southeast Europe – Energy, Transport and Climate Protection (ORF-ETC), which acts on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), co-financed by the European Union and implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

On the same day, in the afternoon, a joint meeting of the Management, Political and Academic Boards and the 10th Annual Assembly of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE network were held, during which an overview of the Network’s activities in 2022, the plan of activities for 2023, and the Network’s Action Guidelines in 2023 were adopted. At the meeting of the Committee, the activities of the Academic Committee, which consists of nine members, representatives of scientific/scientific-teaching and scientific/scientific-research institutions that are members of the Network, were also presented.

The main part of the program took place on Thursday, March 23, and it started with welcome speeches. In addition to Mayor Zoran Janković and Deputy Mayor of the City of Zagreb Luka Korlaet, the director of ODRAZ / Network Secretariat Lidija Pavić-Rogošić addressed those present, then Sibylle Strahl from the Open Regional Fund for Southeast Europe – Energy, Transport, Climate Protection (ORF ETC), Lilijana Madjar, director of the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region (RRA LUR) and Kosmas Anagnostopoulos, coordinator of the CIVINET Greece-Cyprus network followed.

Thematic presentations and panel discussions

Presentations at the conference covered a wide range of topics, from the description of the process and results of the Study of the organization and integration of public transport in the city of Šibenik, the challenges of future urban mobility and the key prerequisites for the successful implementation of smart mobility solutions in the Republic of Croatia, the transformation of the Greek city of Heraklion into a sustainable, accessible and truly a smart city in terms of mobility to Slovenian examples of how to approach sustainable mobility in small (semi)urban areas based on the example of the municipality of Borovnica and the challenges and ambitious measures for climate neutrality faced by Ljubljana in the field of mobility planning. The presentations were accompanied by a moderated panel discussion led by Goran Lampelj from ODRAZ.

Pitch session and visits to examples of good practice

As part of the pitch session, short presentations presented business ideas/projects such as hydrogen in city transport, innovative parking lots for bicycles and romobiles with an improved degree of safety on the example of the startup BPARCO, the free application Bikademy, eMobility Hub, new approaches and solutions in public transport , a mobility plan for large employers and the REAL Mayors Program – a unique education program in the field of mobility in Croatia.

At the end of the programe the host, City of Ljubljana, prepared guided tours of the city and a visit to examples of good practice of sustainable mobility in Ljubljana – a walk in the pedestrian zone, a bicycle and bus tour of Ljubljana, and a boat tour of Ljubljanica.

In the evening, we celebrated CIVINET’s 10th birthday with dinner and music.

On Friday, March 24, a screening of the film “Why we cycle?” and a panel discussion about bicycle traffic and cycling were held. The programe was organized on the initiative of the bicycle mayor of Ljubljana, Matej Praprotnik, in cooperation with the Ljubljana Bicycle Network and with the support of the City of Ljubljana, Kinodvor cinema and RRALUR.

The conference “Cities for Climate Neutrality” within the framework of the CLIMASUM project and the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE network was organized by ODRAZ – Sustainable Community Development from Zagreb (Network Secretariat) in cooperation with the City of Ljubljana and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) within the framework of the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy, Transport and Climate Protection (ORF-ETC).

The CLIMASUM project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Ministry of Economy and Climate Change (BMWK).

This event took place as part of the traditional campaign For a Beautiful Ljubljana, because by implementing sustainable mobility we contribute to a better quality of life in the city.

The photo gallery from the event is available HERE.

You can view the presentations at the following link:


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