EcoMobility World Festival

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The EcoMobility World Festival series by ICLEI shows that an ecomobile lifestyle can be promoted in cities around the world. The Festival transforms a neighborhood or a business district in a city into carfree and ecomobile area for a month. Implementing the Festival demonstrates the possibilities of an innovative and forward-thinking urban mobility culture.
The EcoMobility Congress series provides a platform for international actors, united by a shared interest in sustainable mobility, to share best practices and spark synergies in a setting that promotes creative collaboration, local initiatives, and the EcoMobility agenda.

The EcoMobility World Festival (EMWF) concept was initiated by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

The EMWF is a month-long presentation of an innovative and forward thinking urban transportation culture. It is organized as a community-based mise-en-scène, during which one neighbourhood is temporarily converted into an “ecomobile neighbourhood” to present a real-life vision of car-free urban living for the future. The neighborhood will turn car-free and its community will experience an ecomobile environment and lifestyle for one month, a once-in-a life time opportunity to explore choices by living through a different scenario. The project is framed as a Festival so that it is perceived as fun for all people involved.

5 Reasons why a city should host the Festival

Through the EcoMobility World Festival, participant cities have the chance to:

  • Testing urban design and transport solutions for an ecomobile city and exploring residents’ acceptance
  • Having a direct dialogue with residents in the city and support transport policies with international experts as advocates
  • Providing direct economic benefit to the neighborhood during the Festival
  • Raising the international profile and prestige of the city especially through the city’s progressive transport policy
  • Obtaining direct feedback on the transport policy and practice from local and international experts and stakeholders

Interested in learning more about these opportunities? Explore our work.

ecomobility, sustainable, urban, transport,

Previous Festivals

October 2017, Kaohsiung

EcoMobility World Festival 2017 Kaohsiung

After two years of intensive preparation for the EcoMobility World Festival 2017, Kaohsiung transformed the streets of the historical Hamasen neighborhood into dedicated space for ecomobile modes of transport such as walking, cycling, and public transport and various forms of shared and light electric vehicles. Kaohsiung is the second city in Asia to showcase an autonomous shuttle in a real urban environment for the public to test-ride. Throughout October, 376 events were organized with 364 guided tours in Hamasen, attracting 300,000 visitors to the neighborhood and 90,000 visitors to the EcoMobility exhibition. As a result, 62 percent of private vehicle trips were replaced with ecomobile options.
© City of Johannesburg

October 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa

EcoMobility World Festival 2015 Johannesburg

By organizing the 2015 Festival, the City of Johannesburg triggered a behavioral change from private car use towards ecomobility and kick-started the process of decongesting Sandton, the central business district of Johannesburg. Through measures such as the establishment of dedicated public transport lanes and ten park-and-ride facilities, the Festival successfully reduced private car usage in Sandton by 22 percent, while walking increased by five times along West Street. The modern rapid rail network, Gautrain, increased its ridership from 8.1 percent to 9.7 percent between July and October 2015. Arising from a partnership with the minibus taxi industry, 100 taxis provided free minibus taxi services as feeders in and around Sandton. The Festival attracted so much attention globally that the hashtag #joburgecomobility had approximately 26 million impressions.

September 2013, Suwon, Republic of Korea

EcoMobility World Festival 2013 Suwon

Suwon set the wheels of change in motion by organizing the world’s first month-long presentation of innovation and forward-thinking urban transportation culture. 4,343 residents in Suwon city used a combination of walking, cycling, public transport and various other ecomobile modes for the entire month of September. About 10.3 million USD were invested in Haeggung-dong neighborhood for an extensive regeneration program, including street and façade improvements, the transformation of street lanes to encourage pedestrian use, the creation of green pocket parks and various initiatives under the “City Renaissance Housing Improvements” program. Throughout the month, more than 1 million visitors from 50 countries visited the city. Today, an EcoMobility Bureau is continuously engaging the residents to replicate the success of Haegung-dong in other parts of the city.
© Suwon City
© MunichTramSpotter / CC BY 2.0 / Flickr

What are the requirements to host the EcoMobility World Festival?

The following are the most essential requirements for any city intending to host the EcoMobility World Festival:

  • Political leadership with determination and strong will to implement a month-long automobile free event.
  • Identify a neighborhood that will be the venue for the World Festival
  • Be ready to organize the Festival with intensive residents’ and stakeholders’ participation
  • Be prepared to handle constructive comments from local businesses and citizens and to talk to them in order to find solutions that address their concerns
  • Be aware of the cost and prepare a budget
  • Allocate sufficient resources for the Festival and the Congress
  • Work with local and international media

EcoMobility World Congress

The EcoMobility World Congress series complements  the EcoMobility World Festival to attract international experts to the Festival for them to witness the unique experiment and to discuss and share their experiences and opinions on car-free development.

© Kaohsiung City

Kaohsiung, 2 – 4 October 2017

EcoMobility World Congress 2017

EcoMobility World Congress 2017 demonstrated how sustainable mobility can be livable, shared and intelligent, mirroring what Kaohsiung demonstrated throughout the EcoMobility World Festival. The congress attracted 1,200 participants from 31 countries, including 37 mayors or vice mayors and 57 other city representatives. Eighty-one speakers shared their experience and commitment to implementing ecomobility in their cities over 25 high-level discussions and roundtables.

More information:

© City of Johannesburg

Johannesburg, South Africa, 5 – 9 October 2015

EcoMobility Dialogues 2015

The EcoMobility Dialogues explored solutions to reduce the dominance of private automobiles in cities and to build an urban transport system that meets the needs of residents while minimizing energy consumption, emissions, material use, and space requirements. The topics of the three dialogues were:

  • Reshaping cities for ecomobility: Strategies and tactics
  • Achieving and enabling ecomobility: New and shared forms of mobility
  • Making the commuting decisions safe, sustainable and popular

More information:

Suwon, Republic of Korea, 1 – 4 September 2013

EcoMobility Congress 2013

The Congress highlighted the importance of ecomobility from a range of perspectives, including local leadership, social inclusion, health, and practical applications. The Congress emphasized the integration, development, and promotion of active modes such as walking, cycling, wheeling. It also underscored EcoMobility as a dynamic concept, something to be applied and developed.

Changwon, Republic of Korea, 21 – 24 October 2011

EcoMobility Congress 2011

The first EcoMobility Congress was started in Changwon, South Korea where the EcoMobility Alliance was also first launched. The Congress in Changwon coined the phrase “EcoMobility” and established why it is necessary in cities.