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A week without car

2007-09-14

 

On Sunday, the 16th of September, seventeen Lithuanian municipalities together with many cities in Europe and worldwide will start the already traditional campaign, which is now called the European Mobile Week. It is devoted to minimizing transport pollution. For the whole week, 16 through 22 September, events will be held to draw the society’s attention to the negative impacts of vehicles on the environment and on people's health, and to encourage residents to contribute to the preservation of the clean environment in most urbanised areas. This year’s campaign will involve the total of 1,105 European and world cities.

The flashpoint of the Mobile Week will be the Day without Car. Traditionally, it is announced on the 22nd of September. One thousand two hundred and thirty-five cities, including 21 Lithuanian municipality, intend to join the Day without Car this year. At least on this day once a year urban residents could 'forget' their cars and treat themselves and their city communities to cleaner urban air.

The idea to arrange a Day without Car occurred in 1998 in France and was soon accepted by other European states. The success of the Day without Car came as incentive to develop the campaign, which is why in 2002 this special day turned into a whole-week event. This year’s topic of the European Mobile Week is “Streets for People”. As road vehicles are principal air pollutants, city dwellers, especially in the big cities, are called to try their best to refrain from driving motor cars and use public transport and bikes instead or walk more often not only during the Mobile Week, but permanently. Those who cannot manage without their cars are encouraged to use them rationally: give neighbours’ kids a lift to school, and drive their family or co-workers to work.

In Lithuania, Vilnius Municipality was the first to join the campaign “City without Car!” in 2000, whereas Kaunas did it the following year. In 2002, already 6 Lithuanian municipalities arranged the Day without Car. The figure is increasing year by year. Last year, for instance, 12 municipalities announced the Mobile Week and 21 the Day without Car. It is up to each municipality to decide what kind of events they will arrange for their communities. During the Mobile Week, car emissions will be inspected for exceeding established levels. The more detailed programme of Mobile Week events is available from the website of the Ministry of Environment, which co-ordinates the campaign (www.am.lt).

Public Information Division, Tel. 266 3660

14 September 2007

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas