To explore innovative urban mobility solutions, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (LPGC) is a member of the CIVITAS initiative since 2016. CIVITAS stands for City Vitality and Sustainability and is co-funded by the EU. With the project “Living Labs”, so far over 800 urban solutions in 80 different cities have been tested and implemented.
Different initiatives are part of new mobility solutions — they include an increase of e-bikes, building of more bike lanes, bicycle rentals and the development of the MetroGuagua project, just to name a few. MetroGuagua is a new Metro system formed by several e-guaguas /e-buses building a train.
Guagua is the local Canarian word for buses — in Spain only used here. MetroGuagua is a large-scale project for sustainable mobility — advanced in the development, it now requires additional resources to get the most innovative and sustainable vehicles that the market provides for the required buses with a lenght of between 21 and 24 meters. The Government of the Canary Islands supports the project in raising additional European funds for the completion — with funds from the European Union’s special recovery program, known as Next Generation (2021-23).
On occasion of the International Mother Earth Day, the most effiecient user of the Sitycleta service (city bicycle rental company) who has travelled the most kilometres in the last year, was publicly acknowledged. To be exact, he rode 4,507 kilometres — if they had been made in a combustion vehicle, that would have meant an impact of 758 kilograms in carbon dioxide emissions to the environment.
A double compensation was made by Sítycleta through the planting of 35 trees in the city, exactly the same number of specimens needed to absorb the same amount of CO2. Therefore, bicycling not only stops emitting carbon dioxide, but the city is reforested, helping to clean the air.
Visitors with mobility issues can rent a wide selection of Mobility Scooters, Rollators, Electric and Manual Wheelchairs through the hotels, to move around freely and comfortable.
The Island Energy Council of Gran Canaria is a body created by the Island Authority to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy sources (RES), and the transition to a low carbon economy, to make the island more independent of imported fossil fuels. Electro mobility will not just substitute imported fossil fuels in the road transport, but also becomes a strategical energy asset for grid balancing in scenarios of high penetration of renewable energies. Plus it creates “green” jobs. The charging infrastructure now being installed and expanded, is the beginning of a planned dense network of recharging stations covering all the island of Gran Canaria. The initial charging stations have been strategically located at convenient places for local residents and at sites regularly visit by tourist.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called for commitment to restoring the planet, and to making peace with nature, in his message to mark International Mother Earth Day, celebrated annually on 22 April.
Text: Johanna Fischer, tmf dialogue Knowledge Destinations
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Sergio Maccanti, Convention Bureau of Gran Canaria,