Tehran joins European Mobility Week campaign

September 25, 2019

TEHRAN – The Municipality of Tehran has joined the European Mobility Week campaign to enhance sustainable transport policies, ISNA news agency reported.

Tehran was officially announced a member of the campaign in a meeting held on Tuesday attended by United Nations Development Program representative in Iran.

Since 2002, European Mobility Week has sought to improve public health and quality of life through promoting clean mobility and sustainable urban transport. 

Annually held on September 16-22, the campaign gives people the chance to explore the role of city streets and to experiment with practical solutions to tackle urban challenges, such as air pollution.

European Mobility Week 2019 held with a theme “Walk with Us” puts the spotlight on safe walking and cycling and the benefits it can have on health, environment, while being emission-free.

Cities that promote walking and cycling over private vehicles have also been found to be more attractive, with less congestion and a higher quality of life.

In terms of individual health benefits, studies show that cyclists on average live two years longer than non-cyclists and take 15 percent fewer days off work through illness, while 25 minutes of brisk walking a day can add up to seven years to your life.

Pirouz Hanachi, the mayor of Tehran, said for his part that although metropolises around the world are different, they have issues in common such as air pollution and traffic congestion; so, the solutions might come efficient in other cities.

Reducing the use of personal cars and fossil fuels could be so effective, as 80 percent of Tehran's pollution has a root in fossil fuel, while 40 percent of pollution is directly related to personal cars, he explained.

Referring to the one percent share of cycling in urban transportation in the country, he noted that many cities in the world are having good share of cycling which must also be promoted in Iran by restricting road building.

Automotive cities today are posing serious threat to people’s lives which is mainly caused by inactivity and moving by private cars; so residents needs to cooperate in this regard for their own sake, he highlighted.

He went on to say that the most important solution to reduce the burden of diseases on the society is promoting cycling and encouraging people to use bikes; the cities’ infrastructure however must be developed compatible with biking.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Hanachi said that this year Tehran experienced more clean air quality which was due to mandatory technical inspection of the cars and also increased fuel quality.

Referring to metro as a clean transportation system, he stated: “We are trying to reduce waiting times for the passengers, but there is a shortage of 2,000 metro cars.”

“Therefore, we put cycling in priority by establishing bike lanes and paths in streets of the capital which being seriously pursued and cycling is going to be verified as a transportation vehicle,” he added.

“We should strive to use the opportunities in order to improve people's quality of life,” Hanachi said, referring to the need for electric scooters.

He also stated that about 150 bicycles were provided to the students through a scheme called home-school piloted in a school.

He further expressed appreciation to the UNDP representative and said that “We hope to be able to cooperate with the UNDP, one of which is the renovation of old buildings and areas; as Tehran is constantly at risk of earthquakes.”

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