The Festival will feature dialogues and debates on transport, an Ecomobility World Exhibition showcasing ecomobile vehicles and exciting events encouraging ‘Sandtonites’ (and all South Africans) to ‘change the way you move’.
By encouraging participation in an active street life, encompassing social inclusivity, a sustainable public transport system and streets that are safe to walk and cycle on, the Festival aims to give South Africa a glimpse into what the future holds.
According to the City of Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor, Mpho Parks Tau; “The Festival will demonstrate to the world that an ecomobile future is possible and that public transport, walking and cycling can be accessible, safe and attractive.”
The streets of the CBD in Sandton are presently a hive of activity as construction is underway for temporary public transport lanes and the transformation of West Street to include wider sidewalks and a cycle lane – to be showcased during the Festival.
“Over the last week we are receiving increasing queries form businesses, workers and residents as to what is going to happen in October and what alternative transport arrangements there are,” said Lisa Seftel, Executive Director for Transport in the City of Johannesburg.
“The City will be making available park and rides to Sandton, will have four designated cycle paths as well as providing more public transport,” she said. Those using public transport along parts of Katherine Ave, William Nicol and Republic Roads will be able to travel along dedicated lanes – making their journeys much speedier than those in private cars, she added.
The EcoMobility World Dialogues will encourage participants to think beyond the status quo of Sandton’s streets and encouraging debate on the future of urban transportation. All the Dialogues are free but registration is required. Topics range from the role of new forms of mobility such as Uber and car sharing to whether Cities can be retrofitted with bike lanes and the role of transportation in climate change. A wider range of leading international speakers will be discussing these issues together with about 15 mayors fromaround the world. The Dialogues will close with the Mayor’s EcoMobility Ride.
The EcoMobility World Exhibition which will run daily during the first three weeks of October will give visitors an opportunity to try out local and international innovative vehicles and to experience travel options beyond personal cars. Festival visitors will be able to ride in theexhibited vehicles on a dedicated test track in the Festival area. The Exhibition will also feature thematic exhibits and a timeline exhibition, depicting the development of mobility throughout history.
The Festival is not only about changing the use of certain roads but about arranging exciting activities on these streets. Highlights include:
- An EcoMobility Fashion Show on 1 October
- Closing the streets between Alexandra and Sandton to cars and opening it to walkers, cyclists, skateboarders etc. on Sunday morning 4th of October
- A Freedom Ride between Sandton and Yeoville on 11th October followed by a Family Fun Day on the streets of Sandton
- A Streets Sport Weekend on 17th and 18th October
- The Discovery Dual Athlon on 23 to 25thOctober
- A Rugby meets Soccer Derby on the 31st of October where members of the public will be able to watch Orlando Pirates and Chiefs as well as the World Cup Rugby Final on the big screen.
From children to adults, from pedestrians to cyclists and avid motorists, from history lovers to sports fans – the Festival has something for everyone.
Increasing numbers of partners have come forward in support of the EcoMobility Festival. Over 30 local and international people are exhibiting, Discovery and Hollard are partnering on key activities and others companies are arranging internal campaigns focused on their employees, encouraging them to become ecomobile.
“We as Sandton Central stakeholders believe in the growth and prosperity of Sandton as the commercial hub of South Africa and Africa. It is evident that Sandton’s phenomenal growth cannot be sustainable from a transport point of view, unless there is a significant shift from private to public transport,” says Mati Nyazema, Executive Director of the Sandton Convention Centre. “The City has shared a plan for enabling the smooth flow of transport and for highlighting the use of public transport. As such, it will be business as usual in Sandton and we are confident that the Festival will be a success.”
For more information, or to view the EcoMobility Festival calendar of events, please visit ecomobilityfestival.org