Today's Big Stories, Joburg Ecomobility Festival: All you need to know

Sandton CBD to become an EcoMobile Mecca

The City of Joburg will be organizing the world’s second-ever EcoMobility World Festival 2015, the festival aims to achieve a month long car free district in the Sandton CBD.

The festival is set mobilize and raise local and international support for ecomobile alternatives to fossil–fuel transport. It will also showcase the new Rea Vaya bus rapid transport system and public transport, cycling and walking friendly infrastructure that the city is constructing in the buzzing Sandton area.

The event is a global event hosted in major international cities. The first festival organised in partnership with Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) was held in Suwon, South Korea in 2013.

The festival is the perfect opportunity to motivate South Africa to showcase greener means of transportation.

The City’s objectives during the month-long festival are to:

• Encourage behavioural changed by showing that car-free methods of transport – walking, cycling and public transport – are achievable and have many positive impacts on commuters and the environment; • Envisage the future by showing what the Sandton CBD and surrounding areas will look like once alternative transport infrastructure has been introduced; • Contribute to making Johannesburg a cycling-friendly city through profiling dedicated cycling lanes and leisure events such as the Freedom Ride between Sandton and Alexandra; • Create awareness about the positive contribution that sustainable transport can make to mitigate climate change and create a future for coming generations; and • Showcase Johannesburg’s initiatives to promote clean, sustainable transport and reduce harmful carbon emissions.

Some sections will be demarcated as a test track where members of the public can ride on ecomobility vehicles that have been introduced in other cities in the world such as tuk-tuks, pedicabs and electric vehicles.

Businesses and organisations will be able to participate in corporate go-kart events on Fridays and children will benefit from inter-active road safety programmes over the weekends.

Stephen Grootes spoke to executive director for transport Lisa Seftel. Listen to the interview below:

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