Unanimously chosen at inaugural meeting
The Ecomobility & World Bike Festival 2011 ended in great success last month, selecting Changwon as the chair city of “Ecomoblity Alliance.” More than 600 foreigners from 98 cityies in 34 nations, including mayors, transportation experts and industrial officials, took part in the four-day event held at Changwon Exhibition and Convention and Changwon Plaza from Oct. 21-24.
■ First chair city of Ecomobility Alliance
In the inaugural meeting of Ecomobility Alliance, presided over by Konrad Otto-Zimmerman, secretary-general of ICLEI-Local Government for Sustainability, on Oct. 23, participants ― seven member cities, five partner cities and five international organizations for technological support partnership ― unanimously selected Changwon as its first chair city.
Ecomobility Alliance is comprised of cities, that have won global recognition for showing excellent performance and making great efforts in the area of ecomobility, which generally refers to environment-friendly means of transport. The member cities, partner cities and international organizations for technological support partnership adopted a “founding declaration” during the inaugural ceremony.
☞ Member Cities: ▲Changwon, Suwon, Korea ▲Almada, Portugal ▲Bolder, Portland, the United States ▲Freiburg, Germany ▲Groningen, Netherlands
☞ Partner Cities: ▲Adelaide, Australia ▲Kampala, Uganda ▲New Taipei City, Kaoshiung, Taiwan ▲Lisbon, Portugal
☞ International organizations for technological support partnership: ▲GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit) ▲8-80 Cities (an organization trying to make cities in which people aged from eight to 80 can comfortably walk around) ▲SLo CaT (sustainable, low-carbon transportation partnership) ▲Eco City Builders (people who build ecological cities) ▲Perform Energy (carbon-reducing organization).
■ What is Ecomobility Alliance?
Ecomobility Alliance is a select group of globally advanced cities that have won international recognition for ecological transport. Taking part in this special alliance are the globally advanced cities, which have attained excellent results in the specific area of ecomobility and are hoping to see similar outcome in other areas to increase the share of mass transportation means that don’t use engines.
The alliance’s vision is to help citizens and businesses create cities where people can have easy access to products, services, information and other people in a sustainable way, and the immediate aim of the alliance members is to develop their ecomobility at the highest level in the world.
■ Role of Changwon as chair city
Changwon, which is to chair the alliance in 2012 and 2013, will operate a chairman’s office and represent the alliance in the international community. Also, it will help member and partner cities take part in its activities continuously, make joint programs along with the alliance’s secretariat, pursue exchange programs among member countries and support their operations, help to facilitate information gathering by member and partner countries, and establish close cooperative ties among members and partners.
■ Changwon’s environmental strategy
To achieve its goal of becoming the world’s environment capital by 2020, Changwon is pushing for its four grand goals and eight major strategies.
The four grand goals are: a city where wind and water circulate freely; a city where diverse living things can coexist; a city where energy and resources recycle; and an advanced environmental city that coexist with its citizens.
The eight major strategies are: securing blue sky and clear air; establishing green area network full of vitality; shifting to a green transport system (running mass transport transit center, plan to build urban railway network, turning central boulevard into masterpiece street); providing sustainable energy; creating bio-friendly rivers and supplying safe water; creating natural urban space; and establishing eco-community.
On the basis of the four grand goals and eight major strategies, Changwon will implement 100 action programs with the help of its citizens to create the world’s first environmental capital and a sustainable city, which takes the lead in preventing global warming.
For the concrete realization of its goals, Changwon has finalized a three-stage road map. In the first stage, the city has built an infrastructure since it declared to be the environment capital in 2006. On such a basis, it aims to become Korea’s environment capital by 2015 in the second stage, and emerge as the world’s environment capital by 2020 in the third stage.
Changwon, which was selected as the chair city of Ecomobility Alliance, has made continuous efforts to emerge as a global green city since it declared itself as the “environment capital” by, for example, introducing the public bike system of Nubija. It has since been taking on a the leading role in creating a global ecomobility city along with Freiburg and Portland as well as opening a sustainable, green transport era in which humans and nature can coexist.