The 2013 EcoMobility Congress is a three day conference as part of the EcoMobility World Festival hosted by Suwon, South Korea. It features speakers and guests from over 40 countries across the globe in disciplines ranging from transportation, health professionals and engineers, and those working for governments, NGOs and private industry.
The event is jointly hosted by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and UN Habitat, and focuses on bringing a diverse group of people together to help provide solutions to solve the question, “how can we make our cities better, and more livable?” The focuses of EcoMobility are utilizing more public space for walking and non-motorized transit, reducing congestion and greenhouse gases, and providing citizens with a better quality of life in their cities.
Changwon has long since been championed as an EcoMobile city, so much so, that Changwon not only hosted the very first EcoMobility Congress in 2011, but also continues to serve as the Chair City of the EcoMobility Alliance. This is in large part due to Mayor Park Wan Su’s strong leadership and commitment to EcoMobility, and the environment, not only for Changwon, but for cities all across the world.
Mayor Park Wan Su joined a panel of six other international mayors and vice mayors in Suwon to speak as part of the “Mayors’ Plenary” session. Other members of the plenary represented their cities in Europe, Latin America and across Asia.
Before sharing his beliefs, vision and Changwon’s EcoMobility policies with the Congress, ICLEI presented Mayor Park with a Certificate of Dedication honoring his efforts and leadership as Chairman of the EcoMobility Alliance. He accepted the award to the applause and warm smiles of the hundreds in attendance. In his acceptance speech Mayor Park thanked the Congress and noted how the high number of mayors and cities in attendance showed, “a very good sign for [EcoMobility] development in the future.”
In his presentation Mayor Park introduced Changwon and Changwon’s EcoMobility policies to the Congress. He shared his plans to further expand Nubija, Changwon’s public bike system, to install a light-rail tram serving Changwon that would run from Masan to Jinhae, and a plan to add a fleet of 500 electric vehicles to act as taxis, city vehicles and car-sharing vehicles.
With regard to creating and spreading Changwon’s bicycle culture, Mayor Park emphasized the importance of creating infrastructure, including laws, making systematic improvements, and lastly and most importantly, fostering people’s interest.
“We had to display that it’s not a shame to ride a bike instead of a luxury vehicle,” said Mayor Park to the Congress.
Mayor Park concluded by emphasizing the importance of cultivating financial capital. By welcoming businesses and creating tax revenue, cities can receive the funds that give it the freedom they need to implement such forward-thinking and Eco-Mobilie policies that have made Changwon the celebrated “green” city it is today
/Posted by Coby Zeifman, Changwon Reporter Blogger