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Vassiliki Anastassiadou, minster, Transport Communications and Works, Cyprus Vassiliki Anastassiadou, minster, Transport Communications and Works, Cyprus

Vassiliki Anastassiadou at 5th Mobilitas Transnational Meeting

Address by the Vassiliki Anastassiadou, minster, Transport Communications and Works, Cyprus, on the occasion of the 5th Mobilitas Transnational Meeting in Platres

“We are very honored to be hosting the 5th Mobilitas Transnational Meeting here in Cyprus and I warmly welcome you all. As you very well know, we are an island that depends heavily on tourism and therefore it is vital to exploit opportunities that combine sustainable moblity with the tourist activity.

The Mobilitas project is an excellent platform to achieve this by debating key issues and exchanging ideas on sustainable urban mobility planning in tourist areas of the Mediteranean.

For Pano Platres in particular, this is an opportunity to enhance rural tourism and look into new ways to monitor the movement of tourists using IT tools as well as to promote the use of electrical and sharing mobility transport solutions.

Cities today are reorienting their transportation priorities towards people, instead of cars and urban planning is ever more focused on the consideration of quality-of-life, by offering a variety of alternative modes of travel, improving walkability in the city centres and developing excellent public transport services. Yet, continued reductions in car usage require true multi-modalism; it is not as simple as removing cars from the network or expecting that most car trips can be substituted with public transport trips. People need to have an array of options to choose from, which requires strategic and methodical planning.

In the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, we have actively been promoting sustainable mobility in recent years, expanding the scope of our activities, in terms of mobility, by developing our public transport, designing and implementing infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, exploring the feasibility and sustainability of the creation of a rail network between the cities and tramways within cities.

A central element in this effort is the holistic approach, promoting the development and implementation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) for each city, as well as developing a Strategic Transport Plan for the island, upgrading and modernising design standards, introducing a more human-centred approach, while at the same time substantially improving road safety for the vulnerable road users, shaping a new culture of less-car-driving and rebalancing and redistributing road space among all means of transport with priority to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users.

Our primary goal is the continuous development of our country, so the benefits in return are the maximised, both in the medium and the long term. Sustainable mobility is perfectly suited in this context, because it simultaneously achieves resource savings, serves the real needs of citizens, reignites the economy and, above all, improves the quality of life.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you all for being here today, as without your presence it would not be possible for us to hold this event. I would also like to thank the Platres Community Council and Limassol Tourism Development and Promotion co Ltd for organising this event and I am hoping it will be a fruitful event for all of you.”