Thursday

2nd Jul 2020

Podcast

Winning the Car Wars

  • Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for years in favour of car-free urban space. That goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach (Photo: Helena Malikova)

Lockdowns in response to the coronavirus mean quieter cities, clearer skies and easier breathing.

For many city dwellers the lack of cars has been a revelation amid the suffering and loss inflicted by Covid-19. Now some cities are putting plans to keep cars out into hyperdrive.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Those moves foretell the kind of Europe where living together more sustainably becomes the norm. But such an outcome is not inevitable.

Pollution lobbies and the challenges facing mass transit systems are among the factors that could hold back a green recovery, says Mark Watts who heads the influential C40 network of global megacities.

Pascal Smet is the popular secretary of state for urban development in Brussels who has fought for years in favour of car-free urban space.

That goal once seemed like a galaxy far far away. Now it seems tantalisingly within reach.

We're grateful to the European Cultural Foundation for supporting this episode as a contribution to its Europe Day celebration. Visit the foundation's Europe Day website for more to see, read and experience.

Author bio

EU Scream is the progressive politics podcast from Brussels. Produced by James Kanter with graphics by Helena Malikova and music by Lara Natale.

You may also subscribe via iTunes, Spotify or from the EU Scream website.

Green Deal

How pandemic opens doors to green transport industry

While much of the transport sector is pushing for unconditional state aid and to postpone climate policy action, experts believe that this crisis could help to transform the EU's transportation system, making it more resilient, sustainable and flexible.

Opinion

Second-hand cars flaw in EU Green Deal

The moment Europe revels in its carbon-free transport system, most of the cars that emitted too much for EU standards will still be driving around for years somewhere else in the world.

Data and Dystopia

Despite concerns about civil liberties and activities of companies like Clearview AI and Palantir, EU authorities are shaping a new industrial policy around artificial intelligence.

Standing up to bullies with Frans Timmermans

To succeed Timmermans needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries.

Angst over 'Italexit'

Italians were hit hardest when the coronavirus landed in Europe but the European Union was slow to help the country. The president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has apologised — twice.

News in Brief

  1. China to block Hong Kong exiles fleeing to UK
  2. EU stuck with Putin until 2036
  3. Malaysia pushes to keep selling palm oil to EU
  4. Austria raises corona alert on Western Balkans
  5. Turkey poised to convert Istanbul museum into mosque
  6. France leaves Nato operation after clash with Turkish ships
  7. EU Commission sets up skills agenda for next five years
  8. Bundestag gives floor to 'disgrace' Schröder on pipeline

Standing up to bullies with Frans Timmermans

To succeed Timmermans needs to stand up to governments and vested interests rushing to reboot economies crashed by the coronavirus. That means ensuring the trillions of euros the EU and its member states spend transform rather than entrench polluting industries.

Winning the Car Wars

Lockdowns in response to the coronavirus mean quieter cities, clearer skies and easier breathing. For many city dwellers the lack of cars has been a revelation amid the suffering and loss inflicted by Covid-19.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  3. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis
  5. UNESDACircularity works, let’s all give it a chance
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers call for post-corona synergies between economic recovery and green transition

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us