The Slovenian Ministry of Infrastructure is delighted to welcome you to a country that has impressively transitioned its attitudes to mobility in recent years, even more so since the Ministry of Infrastructure took an active role in inspiring those changes.
Just a few years ago, Slovenia was following a notably different course. State policies were predominantly car-oriented, focusing mainly on road construction and with the majority of policymakers still unaware of the opportunities that could be exploited through strategic sustainable mobility planning. In that period, the key challenges were a rigid way of thinking, inefficient practices and a "one size fits all” approach (new road construction). Then noticeable transitioning started. First, changes in thinking sprang from the municipality level up, when larger cities began to independently explore the opportunities their own sustainable mobility initiatives could bring.
A dramatic shift occurred when the promotion of sustainable mobility was facilitated with available EU funding programmes. The time seemed right, as EU funding for sustainable mobility content was met with increased demand at the local and regional levels. Basic capacity building (provision of personnel, preparation of guidelines, public tenders, monitoring of projects) was executed with EU funds. Early tenders focused on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and in a few years, such strategic documents were adopted by municipal councils that account for 75% of the Slovene population. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans not only made municipalities eligible for further EU co-financing, but also raised awareness of experts and decision-makers at the local level. More forward-thinking experts on all levels also helped to improve infrastructure projects.
Parallel to that, the Ministry published national guidelines for the implementation of cycling and pedestrian infrastructure in urban areas, along with a wide range of "soft” measures (such as awareness raising, education or development of a series of national sustainable mobility guidelines). In addition to all promotional activities, the Ministry fostered further investments by co-funding development of the cycling infrastructure at the regional and local levels, and proposed legislative changes that eventually made such investments more efficient.
The European Mobility Week initiative was used as a key driver in transitioning to more sustainable mobility policies and practices. In the first decade of European Mobility Week, campaigns were mainly focused on awareness-raising activities. Subsequently, intensive work with municipalities started which predominantly focused on work with local coordinators, aimed at raising their competencies in the field of sustainable mobility. Through the years, more and more municipalities took part in the initiative, and with their interest the quality of the measures implemented also grew each
As the Ministry of Infrastructure, we are responsible for the optimisation of Slovenian transport and energy infrastructure - we create policies, maintain, plan, regulate, and are responsible for improvements at the national level. In this regard, we are one of the key drivers towards a sustainable future and our role will be vital for transitioning into a society that is not only successful, but also just and sustainable. As part of this mission, we are developing transport policies and infrastructure in the direction of a safer, more economical, and environment-friendly future.
Velo-city 2022 partnership is supported within the Soft Measures for Sustainable Mobility project co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union under the Cohesion Fund.