Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality Sustainable Urban Transportation Plan (SUMP) opening program was held at Kocaeli Congress Center. Kocaeli Sustainable Urban Transportation Plan, which is planned to be made in line with joint decisions with citizens, NGOs and professional chambers, will be completed in 24 months.
Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Assoc. Dr. Tahir Büyükakın, Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality Secretary General Balamir Gündoğdu, European Union Delegation to Turkey Economic and Social Development Department Head Angel Gutierrez Hidalgo, Turkish Union of Municipalities Secretary General Hayri Baraçlı, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure General Directorate of European Union and Foreign Relations EU Expert Serdar Yılmaz, EU Turkey Delegation Program Coordinator Akif Türkel, Kocaeli Chamber of Industry President Ayhan Zeytinoğlu, representatives of NGOs and citizens attended.
“STAKEHOLDER PARTICIPATION IS IMPORTANT”
Egis Villes Et Transports Deputy Team Leader Charbel Calitta gave information about SUMP and said, “Stakeholder engagement is the most important issue for SUMP. We should aim for sustainable mobility. We need to create resource synergy. In this way, our project will be more successful. During the acceptance phase, municipalities, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, district municipalities, universities and non-governmental organizations should be included in the plan. We have prepared a web page. We publish all the data related to the study here. We have pages on social media,” he said.
GÜNDOĞDU: WE RECEIVED IMPORTANT SUPPORT
Speaking in the program, Secretary General Gündoğdu said, “Every day, a life begins in the city with the sunrise. There are those who travel with their own private vehicles, some of us like to walk, some of us like to ride bikes. We call all this activity that people living in the city perform on a daily basis, urban mobility. In today's world, increasing population, climate changes, increasing environmental pollution, lack of resources, inadequate city plans against irregular migration have caused problems such as increased greenhouse gas emissions. Today, the main responsible for air pollution in cities has been the transportation sector. Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality approved the Kocaeli Transportation Master Plan in 2014. Transportation plans always need to be updated at all times. A European Union project was published within the framework of the accessible and inclusive Transportation action plan by the European Union and we participated in this project with our project named Kocaeli Sustainable urban transportation plan. Our project deserved to be supported. This preparation and tender process, which started in March with the intense and meticulous work of our teammates, was completed in August of this year. The contract period of our project will be 24 months. We aim to complete the project in July 2024. As Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, our aim to participate in the sustainable urban transportation master plan is to solve the bottlenecks in our city due to the increasing population, challenging topography, high vehicle ownership and geopolitical location. As Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, our expectation from this plan is to create a fair, accessible, integrated and inclusive transportation system, to reduce automobile dependence, and to narrow traffic density and volumes.
“WE SHOULD ACHIEVE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS WITH STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT”
Mentioning the importance of the project, Angel Gutierrez Hıdalgo, Head of the Economic and Social Development Department of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, said, “I am happy to be in Kocaeli. We are here for Kocaeli Sustainable Urban Transport Plan. The increasing population brought some problems. Emissions increase is one of them. We continue to work for zero emissions. It is preparing a Sustainable Urban Transport Plan in all cities of Europe. Today we gathered in Kocaeli to prepare this plan. There are many issues in the plan, not just transportation. The main beneficiaries of this plan are our citizens. We must do everything the city needs. We must reach innovative solutions and improve the well-being of our citizens. We will prepare an action plan under SUMP. The European Union will develop plans for 13 cities,” he said.
“IMPORTANT WORK FOR OUR CITY”
President Büyükakın said, “We prepared a Transportation Master Plan in 2014. We had to update the Master Plan data in the evolving city conditions. There are 2 important concepts. Sustainability and mobility concepts. In fact, we aim to increase the amount of areas where people can walk, to increase the amount of areas where they can go by bicycle, when we do this, we aim to use vehicles less and reduce carbon emissions. We are doing a pioneering project. Cities that do this will have left a life for future generations. We aim to increase the mobility of people in the city and to build a human-first city life. This is actually one of the steps to be taken on the way to the happy city. It is an extremely valuable work for the future of the city. The results of this study will facilitate the mobility of citizens. The length of the bicycle paths will increase, the circulation of people will not be hindered by the traffic circulation, or the Highways that we can build so that vehicles can go faster as soon as possible will not stand as big barriers in front of people's access to the sea. It will be an important work for the city. As the mayor, I will continue to support these projects.”
KOCAELİ SUSTAINABLE URBAN TRANSPORTATION PLAN
“Kocaeli Sustainable Urban Transport Plan (Kocaeli SUMP)”, prepared by Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality for the solution of bottlenecks in the city due to the increasing population, challenging topography, high vehicle ownership and geopolitical location, and which received funding from the European Union, was introduced to the public. Kocaeli Sustainable Urban Transport Plan, which will last for 24 months, will focus on basic needs that will increase the quality of human life, such as creating a sustainable, fair, accessible, integrated and inclusive transportation system, reducing traffic volumes and congestion by reducing automobile dependency, and increasing pedestrian and bicycle transportation. It will make the Sustainable Urban Transport Plan together with citizens, Non-Governmental Organizations and professional chambers. To create a culture of shared decision making in the city, to increase the quality of transportation infrastructure and services by ensuring that all segments of the society are represented, to reduce the need for individual vehicle transportation, to reduce the impact on the environment and to reduce energy consumption in transportation activities; It includes the objectives of providing a high level of accessibility and providing access to transport infrastructures and services for all users.