EcoMobility World Festival got underway Oct. 1 in southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung City, gathering around 900 academics, experts and officials from home and abroad to discuss the latest trends in sustainable urban mobility and green city development.
At the opening of the festival, Premier Lai Ching-te said the event is an outstanding opportunity to showcase the government’s commitment to promoting ecomobility for sustainable urban development. Concrete measures have been adopted in this regard, he added, citing approval of NT$300 billion (US$9.9 billion) to NT$400 billion in funding for railway development under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.
According to Lai, two other headline initiatives are a five-year, NT$7.2 billion project promoting e-motorcycles, and a four-year, NT$3 billion program reducing urban traffic congestion through big data analysis and other smart technologies.
The premier also commended efforts by Kaohsiung City Government in hosting the festival and using it as a high-profile platform for sharing the metropolis’s related achievements and fostering exchanges between Taiwan’s cities and their overseas counterparts.
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu said the festival is a valuable way of enabling residents and visitors to glimpse the future and see the shape of the city made possible via sustainable urban transport.
Becoming an ecomobile city constitutes a paradigm shift and the festival is a key step to achieving this change, Chen said. It is hoped Kaohsiung’s experiences will serve as a model for other major urban centers in Asia and beyond, she added.
According to KCG, the monthlong festival features a variety of activities illustrating the future of urban mobility in a real-time setting. These include concerts and performances, cultural and historic tours, exhibitions, forums and workshops.
A highlight is EcoMobility World Congress. Themed Livable, Shared and Intelligent, the Oct. 2-4 event seeks to promote creative collaboration and advance the EcoMobility agenda through panel discussions, presentations and seminars.
First held four years ago in Suwon, South Korea, the biennial festival is a major undertaking of Germany-headquartered Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI)—a global network of more than 1,500 cities, towns and regions committed to building a sustainable future.
In addition to Kaohsiung, ICLEI’s local members include the governments of Chiayi, Hsinchu, New Taipei, Tainan and Taipei cities, as well as Hsinchu and Pingtung counties. (SFC-E)
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