Brussels pays witness to greatest SUMP story ever told

Brussels final event

All good things must come to an end, including CIVITAS SUMPs-Up. Yet before the project concludes at the end of February, it signed off in style with a final event.

Over 50 SUMP enthusiasts and advocates gathered, including experts from the core project team, European policymakers, and cities from across the continent. They heard how SUMPs-Up has shaped the SUMP landscape at the local, national and European level.

The morning opened with introductory words on the project’s achievements and products from Ana Dragutescu, ICLEI Europe, the project’s coordinator, and Octavia Stepan, SUMPs-Up’s project officer at INEA, European Commission.

Herald Ruijters, Director at DG MOVE, European Commission, then contextualised SUMPs in the wider policy landscape. The SUMP approach is critical to meeting goals on decarbonisation, digitalisation, and transport emission reductions set out in the EU’s landmark Green Deal.

Then came a surprise: Siegfried Rupprecht from Rupprecht Consult, launched the new SUMP Self-Assessment tool! This allows towns and cities to evaluate the status of their mobility plans and their alignment with the SUMP approach - access it here. He also revealed further materials to make the SUMP Guidelines accessible.

The first half closed with a summary of SUMPs-Up’s work on the national level by Thomas Durlin of CEREMA.  See all presentations from the first half here.  

The second half saw six diverse cities and regions from the project’s SUMP Learning Programme (SLP) share the mobility challenges that they have faced. They also outlined how their involvement in the SLP has helped begin to address these.

Those to present were Cesis (Latvia), Heraklion (Greece), Krusevac (Serbia), Leon (Spain), Perugia (Italy), and the Porto Metropolitan Area (Portugal). Their circumstances and areas of focus were incredibly diverse.

For instance, Leon has worked to harmonise with SUMPs with Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs); Cesis’s SLP involvement inspired it to experiment with traffic calming solutions and new street designs; and Heraklion has introduced a swathe of road safety measures. Find all of their presentations here.

Whilst this chapter of the SUMPs-Up story is closing, the project’s impact will continue to felt through its many products and rich variety of learning resources. Find them all on the project website.

The new CIVITAS SUMP-PLUS project will also draw on knowledge from SUMPs-Up: its legacy will continue with the next generation of SUMP towns and cities.

Author: Richard Adams

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