Milan Ftáčnik

Mayor of the City of Bratislava.

Milan Ftáčnik (born 1956) graduated from the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Theoretical Cybernetics as well as from the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics. Prior to the municipal political engagement, he was an active politician at national level as the Member of the National Parliament of Slovakia and later on as the Minister of Education in the Government of Slovak Republic. He entered the City Politics in 2006 as the Mayor of the largest City District of Bratislava and in 2010 he was elected as the Mayor of Bratislava, the Capital City of the Slovak Republic. One of his main challenges in the Office is to change Bratislava from automobile metropolis to the green alternative.In Bratislava, since 1990, has been a major priority given to the individual car transport. The result is worse environment, traffic congestion, lack of parking spaces and occupying public space by vehicles. New city leaders decided to stop this trend by fundamental decisions. One of them is supporting cycling transportation. In 2011, we increased the city budget for bicycle infrastructure by 16-times; we started with the preparation of such routes to allow people to safely ride to work, for shopping or for fun. The reality shows us that not only lack of money is the only limiting factor. The hardest part is to change the way of thinking of people and their transportation habits. First projects and media campaign has already brought first positive results. The number of cyclists started to increase and this topic has taken a significant space of the public and in media. In 2012, we finished 12 small cycling projects and in 2013 we prepared another fifteen. Together with the preference for public transport, creating separated bus lanes and creating new parking policy is cycling important step to change Bratislava into a greener city.