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Mobility Measure

A common Elba SUMP (Jan 2021)

Elba Island is characterised by a strong tourist flow, especially during the summer months, and by the use of private cars by residents and tourists. This mobility pattern often generates serious traffic problems at peak times on the roads. Thus, it was necessary to develop a policy framework addressing the mobility issues of the Elba Island as a whole.

In fact, developing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), common to all the seven Elba municipalities, means creating an ever-updating policy framework useful to both public administrators and public transport operators: it helps to design, plan, and evaluate the mobility services needed to improve the overall island accessibility and quality of life for residents and tourists.

Implementing sustainable mobility


Why is the SUMP so important to the improvement of mobility and how does it work?

The main aim of the SUMP is to contribute to the improvement of the island’s general mobility and accessibility by:

  • analysing the current mobility situation;
  • providing useful guidelines and indications to improve public transport efficiency and reduce the number of private cars and CO2 emissions, while, at the same time, increasing the use of sustainable mobility modes of transportation, with the help of the Shared Use Mobility Agency (SUMA);
  • implementing new mobility services and infrastructures;
  • improving the island’s accessibility by ferry and air connections;
  • improving logistics efficiency by realising the Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan (SULP).

Photo credit: Elbasharing

How did the measure progress?

Prior to DESTINATIONS, each Elba municipality addressed mobility issues singularly by adopting different regulations on city access and parking options. The most important policy document on the matter was the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), signed in 2013, which acted as the foundation of the more modern SUMP drafted three years later.

Normally, each city develops its own SUMP, since it takes into account its specific mobility needs and morphological characteristics. The peculiarity of the Elba SUMP is that of being a “Poly SUMP", meaning that it addresses the mobility patterns of Elba Island as a polycentric area with seven different municipalities sharing a small portion of territory.

This trait allows the SUMP to include a deep understanding of the territory in order to create a common ground and vision to improve the general quality of life.

How was the SUMP realised then? It was developed through:

  • several meetings with the local stakeholders and decision makers to discuss the mobility issues of the island;
  • a deep knowledge of the territory acquired from local databases as well as direct experiences; and,
  • interviews with tourists in order to know their habits, needs and expectations in relation to mobility patterns and services.

All of this work allowed stakeholders’ needs to be examined and for the collective requirements of the different municipalities to be considered as a cohesive whole.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

Positive collaboration between political stakeholders: Portoferraio and Rio collaborated to realise the SUMP and they remain optimistic regarding the usefulness and the positive impact of the document on the general management and assessment of the island’s mobility.

Enhancement of stakeholder relationships: a self-assessment questionnaire provided to policymakers revealed that the document’s elaboration has improved the relationships with citizens, the long-term mobility vision, and institutional and political relationships.

Engagement of civic stakeholders: environmental associations and individual citizens actively participated in the implementation of the measure by suggesting alternative solutions to private road transport.

Realisation of the SUMP: thanks to collaboration with and the expertise of the technical partner ISINNOVA, the Elba SUMP was drafted in 2018.

Next steps: in order to be truly effective, the Elba SUMP must be approved by all the seven municipalities of the island, after which it might also be integrated within the Regional Mobility Plan. Eventually, the SUMP’s measures can be implemented on the territory. The assessment of the SUMP can be carried out only after the implementation of the measures indicated within the document itself, which will take place after the end of the DESTINATIONS project.

Basic Information

ELB 2.1
March 2017

Thematic Areas