The objective is to involve the relevant and necessary stakeholders for the development of the SUMP and its articulation.
The Flemish law gives indication regarding the minimum set of stakeholders to involve in the SUMP development process. However, this does not necessarily guarantee a comprehensive process. The municipality of Ghent decided to expand the list of involved stakeholders, to cover all mobility-related sectors and all modes of transport.
Ghent identified several organisations from the public and private sectors that brought in several fields of expertise: economy, environment, health, education and social inclusion as key themes of the SUMP. Consequently, the city identified the following organisations: two employers’ organisations, several businesses and representatives of the transport business (economy); the local environmental association Gents Milieufront (environment); representatives of health practitioners, fire-fighters and the local police (health and safety); as well as four local schools and representatives of minorities and districts of Ghent (education and social inclusion). Likewise, the city of Ghent made a selection
of organisations related to the different modes of transport. The identified organisations were: De Lijn, the regional public transport company; the
port authority, representatives of transport businesses; Fietsersbond, the Flemish cyclists’ organisation and an NGO supporting car-sharing.
The process started with a wide consultation of the citizens and the aforementioned organisations after the publication of the first
Regarding the financial aspect, financial resources are limited as it only requires time for selection of stakeholders. Moreover, all stakeholders participate to the SUMP development on a voluntary basis.
Evidence of success
Due to their status and expertise/representativeness, the organisations were further consulted individually, via over 25 bilateral meetings over 3 months and a number of thematic committee meetings. Their ideas, suggestions
and feedback were integrated in the new version of the SUMP voted by the political body.
Some unexpected results include the attraction of other stakeholders (via those invited) and unexpected contributions on certain measures.
The main challenges are related to the disagreement between organisations can be mentioned. However, this is rather a positive situation as it shows a need for discussions, but yet an issue to deal with.
Potential for learning or transfer
Transferability is possible for all types of cities and/or regions, since no specific financial resources are necessary, but staff time, project
management skills and ‘diplomatic’ skills.