Project Description

CHALLENGE

In future cities like Sandton City will turn into an urban jungle, with cars congesting the city streets cause a gridlock of traffic. The City of Johannesburg set out to highlight this problem and offer a solution through the EcoMobility World Festival. They appointed Sadmon as their event and marketing agency for the EcoMobility World Festival 2015.

SOLUTION

The EcoMobility World Festival 2015 offered a month-long presentation of innovative and forward-thinking urban transportation culture, which were characterised by active street life and social inclusivity. The Festival enabled City residents and visitors from across the globe to experience what a future, car-free precinct would look and feel like.

EVENT SUMMARY

Johannesburg: Where the future of urban mobility and transport has arrived. During the month of October 2015, parts of the Sandton central business district in the City of Johannesburg were decongested, and the streets of Africa’s most vibrant financial hub turned into inviting green spaces that accommodated alternative modes of transport and mobility.

Through the EcoMobility World Festival 2015, City of Johannesburg demonstrated to the world that a greener transport future is possible – where public transport, walking, and cycling are accessible, safe and attractive alternatives to private car use in cities. The Festival was also a celebration of innovation and futuristic thinking.

It was a practical demonstration of how our streets and public spaces can be transformed to preserve our environment and optimise our spaces. The Festival was an opportunity to show that decongesting busy city centres are possible while still catering for the mobility needs of the public.

APPROACH

To organise the Festival, Sadmon adopted a three-pronged approach: A bold communication and marketing campaign “Change the way you move” targeted commuters to Sandton CBD and called upon them to abandon their cars and use public transport, take advantage of the park and ride facilities, and to cycle and walk instead.

Promotional means included: banners at motorways; activists confronting car drivers; newspaper articles, radio and TV news; social media messages  approaching commuters through their employers, the corporations based in Sandton. A month-long Urban Reality Lab “A CBD going eco-mobile” included the closure of certain streets, introduction of managed priority lanes, restructuring of traffic flows, installation of bicycle lanes, enhanced train and bus services and more.

EVENTS HOSTED AND MANAGED BY SADMON

  • OPENING CEREMONY: After an opening ceremony addressed by the national Minister of Transport, the Premier of Gauteng and others.

  • “THE “STREETS ALIVE” cycling and walking parade between the Sandton CBD and Alexandra, a residential area and one of the poorest parts of the city, took off.

  • MAYORS ECOMOBILITY RIDE: As a visible statement of what future, human-scale urban transport could look like, about 50 international and local city leaders and other participants paraded with a variety of eco-mobile vehicles.

  • FREEDOM RIDE: 5000 cyclists enjoyed their Sunday morning by claiming almost 30km of streets for cycling.

  • ROAD SAFETY FAMILY DAY: Families could share a unique experience of picnicking, dancing and playing on the streets while learning about road safety.

  • SPORTING WEEKEND AND SLIDE JOZI: A weekend with sports competitions which allowed sporting groups and individuals from across the city a sense of alternative street use, while a public water slide provided fun to thousands.

  • ECOMOBILITY BLOCK PARTY: To celebrate a successful Festival, a party was held in the closed-off street preceded by a street carnival with an eco-mobile theme.

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THE RESULT OF THE ENTIRE EVENT

  • Over 15 000 people attended at least 10 different large-scale events on the streets of Johannesburg, including the Freedom Ride where over 4000 cyclists participated.

  • 47 speakers from more than 20 countries presented at the EcoMobility Dialogues and approximately 500 local government leaders, experts and practitioners attended.

  • The EcoMobility World Exhibition was hosted in three places, Sandton, Alexandra and online. The online exhibition showcased over 350 vehicles and received 10 000 visitors. The local exhibition included 30 exhibitors, mainly innovative entrepreneurs. In Alexandra, over 250 learners visited the exhibition daily over the last week of the Festival.

  • Through measures such as dedicated public transport lanes and ten park-and-ride facilities, the Festival successfully reduced the percentage of private cars usage in Sandton by 22% during the month-long EcoMobility challenge according to the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO).

  • The metropolitan rapid rail network, Gautrain, increased its ridership from 8.1% to 9.7% between July 2015 and October 2015.

  • Compared to a survey done in 2013, five times more people walked along West Street, the street adjoining the Gautrain Station, during the Festival.

  • Arising from a partnership with the minibus taxi industry, 100 taxis provided free minibus taxi services as feeders in and around Sandton, as well as from four parks and ride sites.

  • Social media disseminated the Festival news globally. The twitter hashtag

#joburgecomobility had approximately 26 million impressions.