Planning for sustainable mobility in Europe

A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) is a strategic planning instrument for local authorities that is used to foster the balanced development and integration of all transport modes while encouraging a shift towards more sustainable modes of transport. A SUMP aims to address urban transport problems and contribute to reaching local and higher-level objectives for environmental, social, and economic development.

The European Commission has emphasised the relevance of strategic transport planning and the development of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in several policy documents. This includes the Action Plan on Urban Mobility (2009), the White Paper Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area (2011) and the Urban Mobility Package (2013). The annex to the Urban Mobility Package includes a description of the SUMP concept that emerged from wide exchange between stakeholders and planning experts across the European Union.

More information about the SUMP concept is presented in CH4LLENGE’s SUMP Kits. A wide range of material is also available on the following websites:

  • Mobility Plan section on Eltis, Europe’s urban mobility observatory
  • Online version of the SUMP Guidelines “Developing and implementing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan”
  • Online SUMP Glossary providing explanation of more than 120 SUMP terms

The four challenges

CH4LLENGE differentiated between the plan itself, the SUMP, and sustainable urban mobility planning, i.e. the process of developing the plan. The project examined the four most pressing challenges in the development, implementation and assessment of SUMPs: actively engaging people and stakeholders in the SUMP process; encouraging cooperation among institutional actors; selecting the most effective packages of measures; and finally, strengthening plan delivery through comprehensive monitoring and evaluation of SUMP measures and processes.


Key tasks in SUMP development Source: Rupprecht Consult, 2016
Developing and implementing a SUMP is a dynamic process. It can be broken down into a sequence of phases from process definition to plan and measure evaluation. Phases and related activities are flexible in timing and may be brought forward, put back, or run in parallel. The graph presents key SUMP process tasks for planning authorities related to the four challenges. Institutional cooperation and participation are continuous, horizontal activities with prime importance in the early SUMP definition phase; measure selection as well as monitoring and evaluation activities are particularly relevant in the subsequent analytical and technical planning phases.

Read more about the four challenges in the SUMP Kits and CH4LLENGE’s final report, which is available for download in the Outputs section.

How CH4LLENGE addressed SUMP development

In twelve ambitious pilot schemes, CH4LLENGE Partner Cities Amiens, Brno, Budapest, Dresden, Ghent, Krakow, Timisoara, West Yorkshire and Zagreb successfully tested solutions to overcoming these challenges. In order to promote the SUMP concept and facilitate its take-up across Europe, CH4LLENGE’s SUMP expert team advised 26 Follower Cities on kicking-off SUMP development and progressing in existing SUMP activities. In addition, CH4LLENGE offered training on sustainable urban mobility planning to more than 700 mobility practitioners and young professionals. Based on the lessons learned from the pilot schemes, Follower Cities and training activities, CH4LLENGE developed a wide range of new SUMP knowledge resources.

Key facts about CH4LLENGE

Title: CH4LLENGE – Addressing key challenges of sustainable urban mobility planning
Duration: 21.03.2013 – 21.03.2016
Budget: 2.399.458 Euro (EU contribution 75%)
Programme: Intelligent Energy Europe
Coordinator: Rupprecht Consult – Forschung & Beratung GmbH
Partners: Rupprecht Consult (DE), Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds (UK), Politehnica University of Timisoara (RO), Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia (SI), The Association for Urban Transition (RO), Promotion of Operational Links with Integrated Services, Polis (BE), Union of the Baltic Cities, Sustainable Cities Commission (FI), FGM-AMOR (AT), City of Amiens (FR), City of Dresden (DE), City of Ghent (BE), West Yorkshire Combined Authority (UK), City of Brno (CZ), BKK Centre for Budapest Transport (HU), City of Krakow (PL), City of Timisoara (RO), City of Zagreb (HR)