Ilsur Metshin, the Mayor of Kazan and President of the UN Advisory Committee on local authorities (UNACLA), spoke at the Forum of Mayors of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe 2020 (UNECE) last night. The event was held in Geneva. Mayors from cities of Europe, North America, Central Asia and the Caucasus attended it.
This year, UNECE Forum of Mayors is dedicated to strengthening the resilience of cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The forum participants exchanged views on a number of issues that are important for most cities in the world.
Ilsur Metshin in his report spoke on the experience of the capital of Tatarstan in the organization of public transport. "Improving the sustainability of municipal transport is one of the priorities in creating a modern and comfortable city. The quality of services provided in public transport can shift public preferences in favor of this type of transport. This, in turn, will reduce the traffic load, reduce transport delays and emissions", - the Mayor of Kazan stressed.
Ilsur Metshin said that gaseous motor fuel buses are actively used in the Tatarstan capital, the vehicle fleet is being updated by purchasing buses meeting high environmental standards, as well as trams and trolleybuses of a new generation.
The UNACLA President reminded that Kazan has been actively cooperating with the UN development program since 2013. A comprehensive traffic management scheme, a single municipal parking space, a new route network scheme for municipal passenger transport were jointly developed.
In addition, the capital of Tatarstan became a participant of the UNECE relay on integration of Transport, Health and Environment Pan-European Program into urban and spatial planning.
The Mayor of Dublin, Hazel Chu, told colleagues from other cities about changes the city's transport system had to face due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Mayor of Freiburg (Germany) Martin Horn, a greater challenge for the entire planet than the COVID-19 pandemic remains climate change caused by humans.
The Mayor of Bern (Switzerland) Alec von Graffenried shared his experience in resuming active cultural, sports and scientific life in the city after the quarantine.
The head of Reykjavik (Iceland), Dagur B.Eggertsson, emphasized in his report that it is crucial to maintain sustainability in three areas: the economy, the environment and society.
Ilsur Metshin, Kazan Mayor and UNACLA President, noted the need to develop and support international cooperation. "In the current situation, we must support international cooperation, look for new formats of work and exchange best practices for implementing the sustainable development goals at the local level. The new reality forces us to adjust previously developed programs for sustainable development. We have common goals – we want to see our city landscaped, comfortable, safe, cozy and kind. A city with equal opportunities for all, where you want to live, study, work and create", - Ilsur Metshin summed up.