Let’s Stay Mobile – European Mobility Week in the Ljubljana Urban Region
On 18 September 2018, as part of European Mobility Week, a workshop on sustainable mobility for the elderly entitled Let’s Stay Mobile took place at the City Museum of Ljubljana. The event was organised by the Regional Development Agency of the Ljubljana Urban Region as part of the Peripheral Access project and the City of Ljubljana Office for Development Projects and Investments. Ljubljana public transport operator LPP d.o.o., BicikeLJ bike sharing scheme operator Europlakat and the Road Safety Agency also gave presentations at the event.
The purpose of the event was to present the advantages of using sustainable means of transport and incentives for their use. Participants were informed about the positive social and health effects of walking, cycling and public transport use. It is a fact that just half an hour of daily moderate exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Among the biggest factors influencing longevity are sincere and close connections with loved ones and daily social interactions, and these are easier to achieve in a space that encourages socialising and walking. Ride-sharing and car-sharing opportunities and the principal characteristics of on-demand transport services were also mentioned. The latter are frequently aimed at elderly people living in sparsely inhabited areas, where it is more difficult to organise efficient public transport.
Declining mental and physical abilities leave elderly people more prone to mistakes, which is why by far the highest number of traffic fatalities among pedestrians and cyclists in the last five years involve people aged over 65. The problem frequently lies with infrastructure that is adapted to car users, yet pedestrians and cyclists themselves can make a significant difference through their behaviour, explained Marjetka Benčina of the Road Safety Agency.
The ensuing practical part of the workshop attracted particular interest among older participants, who were given the opportunity to familiarise themselves both in theory and in practice with the use of the Urbana card, various forms of on-demand transport offered by LPP and the BicikeLJ bike sharing scheme and try out the Kavalir electric vehicles that offer free rides around the city centre (which is closed to traffic) to Ljubljana residents and visitors alike.