The City of Johannesburg in South Africa will be hosting a month-long car-free city event in 2015 to coincide with the country’s Transport Month in October 2015: the world’s second-ever ‘EcoMobility World Festival 2015’.
The Festival aims to mobilize and raise local and international support for sustainable, socially inclusive and environmentally-friendly transport options and to showcase solutions and alternatives to fossil-fuel based transport. The Festival will also showcase the new Rea Vaya bus rapid transport scheme and public transport, cycling and walking friendly infrastructure that the city is constructing in the Sandton CBD.
“The EcoMobility World Festival is a once-in-a-life time opportunity for the local community to try out a scenario of future sustainable living”, says initiator and Creative Director of the EcoMobility Festivals, Konrad Otto-Zimmermann. Zimmerman works at The Urban Idea and is a former Secretary General of ICLEI. “It means experiencing and showcasing an ecomobile lifestyle in a real city, by real people, in real time.”
Johannesburg’s commitment to ecomobility is also in line with the recently adopted pan-African Sustainable Transportation Forum framework, which is a platform for decision makers to share best practices, coordinate sustainable transport efforts and provide focus to development planning.
“The city is committed to involving all relevant stakeholders to ensure participative decision-making in the event, and to communicate, celebrate and visualize a low carbon future through the lens of EcoMobility”, concluded the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau.
The Mayor also announced the City’s plans to close off certain streets in Sandton to car traffic, and instead use these lanes for public transport, walking, cycling and other forms of EcoMobility during the entire Transport Month in October next year (2015).