SUMPs-Up came to Sofia for three days of intense learning, exchange, and mutual inspiration. Cities from the second SUMP Learning Programme (SLP), Bulgarian mobility practitioners, and national level actors took part in various activities between 13-15 February.
Day 1 - The SLP Expert Group gathers
The learning group for the second SLP consists of small- or medium-sized cities with limited experience in sustainable urban mobility that are determined to develop a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). 13 cities from 7 countries gathered in Sofia for their first workshop.
They learned from Erik Stok from Hengelo in the Netherlands how important involving citizens in the SUMP process is: “The participatory process makes politicians accountable to the citizens”. Later in the afternoon, the SLP 2 cities held a rich discussion about the cooperation challenges they face. They reiterated the need for better links between the local and national level and support to guide their work, be that frameworks or guidance. Their day finished with a tour of the city on a vintage tram.
Day 2 - National practitioners
23 mobility practitioners from all over Bulgaria gathered to exchange experiences with sustainable mobility in their cities. Sofia and other cities presented the measures they are using to transform the mobility mindset in the country. Sofia focused on its parking policy and pedestrianisation measures. Group discussions followed.
Day 3 - Engaging with the national level
On the third and final day in the Bulgarian capital, SUMPs-Up gathered national level mobility actors. Key messages at the event were that a national level SUMP framework is vital to guide and support cities, and that national level guidelines and an approval process are needed to ensure consistency in the plans developed.
Alan O'Brien from JASPERS emphasised that "mobility doesn't respect territorial boundaries". Cities and regions need to look beyond municipal lines, consider their mobility links and shared needs, and work together.
To see the full list of participants for SLP 2, click here.
For full details on the SLP, click here.