Islands seek sustainable mobility

Islands seek sustainable mobility

Several Greek island municipalities are in the process of drafting plans to promote sustainable transport and tackle the effects of a surge in the population from summer visitors.

The so-called Sustainable Island Mobility Plan (SIMP) aims to offer flexible solutions that improve mobility, such as limiting the use of cars (mainly by tourists), introducing electric vehicles, promoting carpooling, reducing speed limits and improving the use of parking spaces.

“The demand for sustainable mobility on the islands is objectively different in relation to large urban centers or mainland municipalities. For example, on the islands we have a very large population fluctuation between summer and the rest of the year,” Kosmas Anagnostopoulos, coordinator at CIVINET CY-EL, the Greek chapter of the CIVITAS network of cities dedicated to sustainable urban transport, told Kathimerini.

“Also, concerning the means of transport, the islands do not have fixed tracks or motorways. At the same time, there are great variations between 117 inhabited islands.”

Islands are ideal test beds for innovations in mobility as they offer a limited geographic space, Anagnostopoulos said.

“The first SIMP in Europe will be designed for Sifnos and will be followed by Naxos, the Small Cyclades and Kea. The work being done for the Greek islands has attracted interest at a European level, and now the next revision of the European directives on the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan will also include the dimension of insularity,” he added, referring to the isolated nature of many islands.

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