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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article12 October 20182 min read

INTERREG Europe’s policy brief on mobility plans

In October 2018, Interreg Europe’s Policy Learning Platform on Low Carbon Economy published findings and recommendations on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

The policy brief drew on a number of relevant projects that have been supported by the programme. It looked at the needs and specifics of the SUMP concept and process, as well as recent developments.

For example a case study in the policy brief, which was taken from the REFORM project, focused on project partner Greater Manchester’s history of developing a SUMP since 2000. This has involved a revision every five years, which has been jointly prepared with the ten local authorities in the region. The body responsible for the region’s transport, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), directly supports the region’s local authorities in their development tasks for the SUMP. It provides evidence-based input for the SUMP process on the impacts on the economy, society and community, environment, technology and innovation, as well as policy and governance.

Moreover, the SUMP revisions are aligned to Greater Manchester’s wider spatial planning framework. Spatial connections, such as those within neighbourhoods, to and within the regional centre and connections for travelling across the wider city region, are all an integral part of the process. These take account of how people move today, as well as how they might move in the future, in the Greater Manchester region, taking into consideration future housing developments.

The REFORM project has itself published its ‘EU good practices on sustainable mobility planning and SUMP’, which includes 26 good practice examples of SUMP development. Following its conference, REFORM identified a number of recommendations on the SUMP concept and on the development of SUMPs, including:

  • The existing EU SUMP guidelines are a good basis for cities to develop a SUMP, but they need to be adapted to the national context and the needs of the individual city.
  • SUMP development needs funding for all of its phases, including the preparatory phase and the planning phase, as well as for adoption and implementation. Resources for evaluation and monitoring of the implementation phase also need to be earmarked.
  • There was a call for a clearer SUMP definition, including more precise and concrete examples.
  • Those cities starting to develop a SUMP for the first time were advised to look at good practice cases first.

INTERREG Europe’s guidance also highlighted another of its projects, InnovaSUMP, which is about to create eight SUMPs in eight different locations. The project has already influenced the delivery of two regional SUMPs, leading to the creation of a bike sharing scheme in the Greek city of Kordelio Evosmos and the start of the process to renew the bus fleet in the city of Iasi, in Romania, by replacing old buses with new, more efficient vehicles. The Municipality of Nicosia is making use of InnovaSUMP project to explore the interlinkages between SUMPs and Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) and Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs).

More recommendations and details to the policy brief are ready to read here.


Publication date
12 October 2018
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Europe-wide