EIB grant will fund the preparation of a sustainable urban mobility plan, as a framework for major investments in the transport network of Niš
The investments will help deliver greener mobility by promoting public transport and introducing a wider range of transport options
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a cooperation agreement with the City of Niš in Serbia to finance the preparation of a sustainable urban mobility plan, enabling the city to make informed investment decisions concerning its transport network. By taking into account existing travel patterns, development trends and the municipality’s strategic planning objectives, the sustainable urban mobility plan will help ensure that such investments are optimised to provide efficient, safe, convenient and less carbon-reliant mobility. In addition, the technical assistance will enable the City of Niš to explore opportunities created by the future removal of freight traffic from the existing inter-urban railway corridor crossing the city.
The sustainable urban mobility plan and the investments it will generate will help Niš to grow, supported by a high-quality, well-integrated transport network, thus enhancing the appeal of the city as a place to live and invest in. The technical assistance is provided under Team Europe and the joint Urban Projects Finance Initiative between the EIB and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), launched to support ambitious urban development projects.
EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova, responsible for the Bank’s activities in the Western Balkans, said: “One of the EIB’s priorities, as the EU climate bank, is to promote cleaner and more sustainable transport by modernising railways, waterways and urban transport capacities across the Western Balkans. This technical assistance will provide a foundation for developing projects that will bring multiple benefits to people living and commuting to Niš, as well as economic benefits arising from better connections within the city and with surrounding municipalities. At the same time, it will help the city address urban development and climate-related challenges and thus improve environmental and living conditions.”
Mayor of Niš Dragana Sotirovski stated: “Niš, as a city, is expanding intensively and developing rapidly. The frequency of traffic has increased so the sustainable urban mobility plan will enable us to harmonise the traffic network with the new investment cycle and strategic directions of the City of Niš’s development. Our commitment to reducing harmful gases and protecting water, soil and air is of great importance in our strategic development plans. It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that we begin our cooperation with the European Investment Bank on the basis of the signed agreement. This kind of help and the results we will achieve together will be valuable to us in the time to come.”
The EIB has been active in Serbia since 1977. Since 2001, we have been providing finance to support key infrastructure projects, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), industry, services and local authorities. To date, 92 projects have been financed and over €6 billion invested in SMEs and in transport, education, healthcare and utility infrastructure.
The EIB is one of the leading international financiers in the Western Balkans. Since 2009, the Bank has financed projects totalling almost €10 billion in the region. Alongside its continued support for the reconstruction and upgrade of public infrastructure, since 2010 the EIB has expanded into many new areas, such as healthcare, research and development, education and SMEs.
About the specific ERI envelope for technical assistance under the Urban Projects Finance Initiative
The European political response to the challenges in the Southern Neighbourhood resulted in the launch of the Urban Projects Finance Initiative, a joint initiative of the Agence Française de Développement and the EIB, established in 2014 under the umbrella of the Union for the Mediterranean. Its objective is to support ambitious urban development projects, with a high impact on job creation, economic growth, poverty reduction and upgrading the urban fabric.
The EIB has invested approximately EUR 2 billion in urban development projects in the south Mediterranean region since 2011, focusing on key urban infrastructure and mobility projects. The Bank’s strong commitment to support this important sector was reaffirmed during the second Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) ministerial conference held on 21st and 22nd of May 2017 in Cairo on “Sustainable urban development in the south Mediterranean countries”.
The EIB today welcomed the New Urban Agenda and confirmed expected support for sustainable urban development totalling more than USD 105 billion over the next five years through new investment in sustainable transport, clean energy, water and smart cities. This follows agreement from the 28 European Union shareholders of the European Investment Bank to enhance the impact of urban lending and calls from European Ministers for the EIB to help implement the EU Urban Agenda.