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“I move, therefore I am” – a campaign to promote walking and cycling

“I move, therefore I am” – a campaign to promote walking and cycling

Press release 08.05.2018 16.05 fi sv en

Instead of driving, walk or ride a bicycle for short trips. This is the message of the “I move, therefore I am” campaign. Nearly a quarter of all trips shorter than a kilometre are made by car, and the figure is 60 per cent for trips two to three kilometres long. The Ministry of Transport and Communications supports the promotion of walking and cycling also through the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. 

“If more people take to walking and cycling, it will improve the energy efficiency of the entire transport system and reduce traffic emissions. In addition, the increased exercise resulting from walking or cycling short trips will have a positive impact on people’s well-being and the overall public health,” says Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications.

The goal of the National Energy and Climate Strategy is to increase walking and cycling by 30% by the year 2030. Minister Berner points out that the economic benefits of the health effects of walking and cycling are great compared to the costs of promoting these modes of transport.

“As far as public health is concerned, it is estimated that an increase of walking and cycling in Finland by 20% would generate a total of about EUR 4 billion worth of health benefits. The benefits are significant, even from the point of view of national economics. Moreover, walking and cycling are great fun,” Berner concludes.

According to a report by the Finnish Climate Panel, the promotion of walking and cycling could achieve emission reductions of around 0.3 million tonnes by 2030. The overall target of traffic emission reductions in Finland is 3.1 million tonnes.

“Take care of your well-being and our environment”

The campaign starts on 4 May, just before the nationwide cycling week. The two-year campaign will be seen and heard on multiple platforms: on the radio and social media as well as at various events, just to name a few. In Instagram, for example, there will be a photo competition where you can win a Jopo. The campaign site elamasimoottori.fi contains, in addition to campaign materials, information on the health benefits and environmental impacts of walking and cycling as well as practical tips for starting walking and cycling.

The campaign encourages people to “get moving and take care of their well-being and the environment.” The principal organisers of the campaign are the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Transport Agency, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Finnish Cyclists’ Federation, Pyöräilykuntien verkosto and the Finnish Road Safety Council.

Campaign material is available free of charge to various communities and organisations. The aim is to involve state administration and other stakeholders in large numbers in the promotion of walking and cycling. The Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health are among those who have promised to participate.

More sustainable Finland through walking and cycling

The promotion of walking and cycling is also on the agenda of the Ministry of Transport and Communications through the Society’s Commitment to Sustainable Development. The Ministry undertakes to promote walking and cycling by implementing measures of the programme and government resolution for the promotion of walking and cycling published in March, and by coordinating the “I move, therefore I am” campaign.

The promotion programme lists 31 measures to increase walking and cycling permanently by 2030.

Furthermore, within the means available to the Ministry, it undertakes to seek to double the funding of walking and cycling in the coming years. The Ministry also invites municipalities, the Finnish Transport Agency and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) to participate in the implementation of the walking and cycling promotion programme.

Inquiries

Ministry of Transport and Communications, Saara Reinimäki, Head of Communications, tel. +358 50 303 3065

Finnish Transport Agency, Anna Jokela, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Relations, tel. +358 400 439 955