Reducing the carbon intensity of urban transportation is a major challenge for European policy makers. The transport sector is responsible for around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions in Europe, and with cities being home to more than 70% of the EU population, they are a key target for policy interventions aiming to support a transition to sustainable transport.

To assist in this transition, the European Union established the Urban Mobility Package in 2013 and set out the concept of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs); plans which consider the entirety of an urban area and encourage joined-up and collaborative policy-making across different policy-areas, different levels of government, and different stakeholder groups.

To support regions to develop SUMPS, the Mobility Package set out a uniform methodology for local and regional authorities to develop low carbon mobility strategies, and established a dedicated information hub: Eltis.

Observatory for urban mobility

Financed by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, Eltis is Europe’s main observatory on urban mobility. The website is divided into three themes:

  • Discover, providing a range of useful information including case studies that present successful examples of sustainable urban mobility initiatives and strategies, amount of statistical data, and a summary of relevant EU legislation and policies.
  • Resources, giving access to tools, guides, handbooks and reports to support and inform urban mobility professionals, together with training materials, and a roundup of current EU funding accessible for local authorities.
  • Participate, providing access to the Eltis forum, where stakeholders can discuss matters related to sustainable urban mobility. A calendar of important conferences, meetings, workshops and networking sessions is also included.

Supporting SUMP development

A dedicated part of the Eltis website has been created to support authorities in developing their own SUMP. The website provides SUMP guidelines, which guide regional authorities step-by-step through the plan development process. The SUMP Self-Assessment Tool enables authorities to assess whether their SUMP complies with the European Commission’s SUMP concept and guidelines. Eltis is keeping track of SUMP development in Europe via the City database.

To increase awareness, an annual SUMP award has been created to reward excellence in sustainable urban mobility planning. Applications for this year – with the theme of multimodality – are open until 1 October.

The Sump Planning cycyle

Image credit: Photo by David Geib from Pexels