The city of Banja Luka is the winner of this year's prestigious European award for the promotion of urban mobility, as decided by the experts’ jury of Civitas, a prestigious group of European cities. Chestnut project partner LIR Evolution is a development agency with office in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the category of the "City in Transformation", the head of the Department of Transportation and Roads Mr. Slavisa Sandic, received an award in the Umea, Sweden, during the Civitas Forum Conference.
The award is awarded to an European city that during the year achieved significant transformation and progress in the field of sustainable development.
Banja Luka, as the only local community in B&H that is a member of the Civitas network, was recognized as a city that in a very short period implemented a number of different measures in order to promote urban mobility. This shows its commitment to development based on the principles of sustainable development, improvement of the environment and quality of life in the city - said Sandic.
According to him, the concrete steps for the improvement of urban mobility were initiated after the reorganization of the city administration and the focus on specific traffic problems in the city.
This clearly demonstrated our commitment to deal with traffic and that traffic will not only be a letter on paper - said Sandic at a ceremony in Umea. As he pointed out, this award represents a great recognition for the measures taken and an indicator that the city administration is on the right track, but also an obligation to "work harder and better" in the years ahead.
Speaking about the implemented measures in the field of urban mobility and sustainable development, Sandic stressed that Banja Luka, among other things, recently introduced a system for bicycle rental, the "Bike Sharing", which citizens have well accepted and has more users every day.
We also installed chargers for electric vehicles on public areas, reconstructed a part of the pedestrian zone in the central city core, and introduced a panoramic bus to Banj hill. In the city center we limited parking time and closed the main city center street for traffic on weekends during the summer. We started designing a network of bicycle paths and we marked the bicycle trails - said Sandic.
He noted that in June this year Banja Luka successfully organized a one-day conference of the CIVINET network, which gathered over 60 experts from six countries.
Banja Luka is the only city in BiH to register its activities for the European Mobility Week. Through various policies and projects, the European Commission has taken a large number of actions to reduce pollution caused by traffic. Since 2002, the European Commission has supported the CIVITAS Initiative, which also awards the highest recognition to the cities of Europe that have achieved the best results in this field.