Lithuania is famous for its reputation as a very green country where people have lived in concord with nature for many centuries; however, the effects of the economic growth and increasing population in urban areas set challenges to manage and prevent the pollution of city environment and create favourable health-friendly conditions for the citizens. European Commission also encourages the Member States and their regions and cities not to postpone decisions in this field taking proper measures under the basis and principles of sustainable urban mobility planning.
THE PEP Relay Race Workshop in Kaunas aims to foster a better vertical and horizontal cross-institutional and cross-sectorial cooperation among the policy makers, international organisations, NGOs, academic researchers and local authorities providing the platform of discussion for the specialists of transport, health and environment.
The objectives of Kaunas Workshop include sharing the knowledge from the latest research and best practices of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and sustainable urban development to increase the competences of the specialists and to encourage the development of SUMPs in Lithuanian municipalities in the nearest future. Moreover, the workshop aims to share ideas and best practices in promotion of physical activity, awareness rising of the benefits of sustainable mobility among youth and local communities as well as empowering and including citizens into decision making and implementation of sustainable urban development.
The workshop is a part of THE PEP relay race, a series of capacity-building events to share best practices across different regions. The relay race was launched in January 2009 in Amsterdam, followed by workshops in Pruhonice – Prague, Czech Republic (September 2009), Skopje, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (June 2010), Batumi, Georgia (September 2010), Kiev, Ukraine (June 2011), Moscow, Russian Federation (June 2012) and, Almaty, Kazakhstan (September 2013). In April 2014 the Lithuanian delegation of the three Ministries of Transport and Communications, Health and Environment and a representative from Kaunas City welcomed THE PEP baton during the Fourth High-level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment in Paris.