CIVINET workshop in Slovenia focuses on effectively evaluating SUMPs

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SUMP Evaluation Workshop in Velenje (SIovenia)

Image by ODRAZ

A two-day workshop on the evaluation of sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMP) was held in Velenje (Slovenia) on 13-14 October 2022.  Approximately 40 members of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE network from Slovenia, Croatia and BiH participated in the workshop.

Participants were welcomed on behalf of the Network Secretariat, Goran Lampelj from ODRAZ and the mayor of Velenje, Peter Dermol. Mr. Dermol highlighted numerous activities in Velenje that contribute to the implementation of sustainable urban mobility measures. Throughout the workshop, led by Aljaž Plevnik from the Urban Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, three topics were discussed: the evaluation of SUMPs, evaluation of SUMP measures, and processes.

The question arose whether sustainable mobility plans in the region are effective in achieving the set goals. During the group work, it was concluded that we cannot talk about the effectiveness of the plans because there is no clear system and legal obligation for their monitoring. In order for the plans to become more effective, it is necessary to adopt a sectoral strategy with relevant indicators and legislative framework together with continuous monitoring of the entire process.

The most effective measures are those concerning traffic calming, expansion of pedestrian zones, city centre entrance fees, transformation of road space and appropriate parking management. These measures are often the most affordable. Measures considered to be particularly effective are those relating to street painting, surveillance cameras and street furniture.

Participants of the workshop agreed that the effectiveness of the entire process of sustainable urban mobility plans will be improved by continuous education, accurate investment, changing habits, process monitoring and adaptation to current situation and trends. Rather than focusing solely on transport, transport-spatial planning should also focus on people and fostering a better quality of life for all. The need for an interdisciplinary approach in the creation of new sustainable mobility plans was also expressed.

At the end of the first day, host Velenje Municipality arranged a study visit on electric bicycles and via local bus, where participants were able to witness outcomes of the city's Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) in action. The key focal areas were sustainable planning, walking, cycling, public transport and change in the habits of users of motorized traffic.

The second day of the event continued with a session focused on good practice and experience transfer in planning and implementation of SUMPs in Slovenia and Croatia. Network coordinator, Matija Vuger, from the City of Zagreb, made the introduction, followed by an example from Slovenia, which was presented by Nela Halilović from IPoP (Institute for Spatial Policies) and Katarina Ostruh from Velenje Municipality. The focus of their presentation was on the new organization of the Rudarska street in Velenje. They pointed out that ensuring public participation has been a positive, yet demanding process. Despite the fact some citizens have been dissatisfied with the temporary closure of the street, to which social networks also contributed, the Velenje authorities believe that it is necessary to continue in the planned direction, even with small steps.

Other examples complemented the discussion, including from Mojca Balant from Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, who spoke about Slovenian experiences in creating a tool for evaluation of SUMP. Her presentation on the development of the tool, the SUMP quality evaluation system and the legal basis. Next, Mateo Uravić from Ernst&Young in Croatia elaborated on the process of development of the SUMP in the City of Zadar, including the methodology, vision, goals and measures, actions and evaluation plan, as well as scenarios of development. Additionally, Ivan Nemet, representative of the town of Križevci, stressed the problems small towns often face.

In conclusion, Marko Slavulj and Mario Ćosić shared the experience of preparing and creating SUMPs for cities, from the perspective of the Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences of the University of Zagreb. The University of Zagreb is a member of the CIVITAS Educational Network. Since 2013, the Faculty has been continuously involved in the creation of studies and mobility plans for cities and towns, and since 2014 it has participated in the preparation of eight SUMPs. The Faculty is currently involved in the process of creating SUMPs for the Towns of Rovinj and Labin.

In conclusion, some of the key takeaways from the workshop included:

  • the need for national and legislative frameworks in all countries in the region
  • the need to work on improving the capacity for evaluation and implementation
  • the need for good examples – cooperation, inspiration and learning from the best cities in Europe
  • the value of using the same methodology and terminology

For further information, consult the presentations and the photo gallery of the event.

The event was organized in cooperation with Velenje Municipality as part of the CLIMASUM project.

Author: the Network for Sustainable Urban Mobility CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE

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