A town with 3,300 inhabitants, Ljutomer was the first place in Slovenia to prepare a (pilot) SUMP on a 'small' scale. The municipality of the same name (in which the town is located) has a population of 11,400 people. The success of the implemented measures encouraged Ljutomer to place an emphasis on sustainable mobility and strive for a role as one of the leading municipalities in the field within both Slovenia and the wider region.
Ljutomer is located on flat terrain. Its small size, undemanding topography, and mild climate mean walking and cycling are theoretically possible almost all year round. The whole town can be crossed on foot in under half an hour, whilst other bigger towns in the municipality can be reached within 15 minutes on a bike.
Despite this, current travel habits in the municipality are very much car-oriented, with 82 per cent of residents travelling by car. This is partly due to the rising levels of motorisation that Slovenia has experienced in recent years, as well as cars being preferred when conditions are deemed unsuitable for walking and cycling.
Ljutomer's pilot SUMP was approved in 2012. Its preparation saw the adoption of a more sustainable approach to transport planning that placed the existing, more traditional approach in a wider context. The progress made as a result of the SUMP led the municipality to focus more on sustainable mobility, and in 2017 it adopted its second-generation SUMP.
Ljutomer's SUMP was developed as a pilot for small towns and cities within a wider national project that focused on sustainable urban mobility planning. It required transport planners working on it to utilise a holistic approach to traffic and mobility management and to devise a list of key measures to help improve the municipality's mobility situation.
Following the finalisation of the SUMP action plan, Ljutomer implemented a number of measures:
- Some of these focused on “people friendly traffic”. A wooden footbridge was constructed that considerably improved the connection between the secondary school and the railway station, whilst a redesign and change of traffic rules improved access to the primary school.
- Two strategic documents were also prepared: “Guidelines for cycling infrastructure design” and “Design of traffic surfaces in the city of Ljutomer”.
- The implementation of the SUMP is monitored and encouraged by the "local support group for sustainable mobility”, which consists of local stakeholders.
The Mayor of Ljutomer has commented that the municipality is proud of its achievements and leading role in the sustainable mobility field in Slovenia and the wider region. They are keen to introduce new innovative measures and learn from current ones in order to improve those developed in the future.
The positive results from the first SUMP encouraged the municipality to plan the implementation of similar measures in other parts of Ljutomer city and municipality and to develop a second-generation SUMP. This was adopted in March 2017.
The experiences and lessons learned from Ljutomer were integrated into several newly developed SUMPs in Slovenia and presented to different stakeholders - including planners, designers, and municipal officials - from Slovenia and abroad.
Encouraged by the success of and positive attention garnered from its first SUMP, Ljutomer decided to renew its commitment to sustainable mobility measures.
The municipality acted as a role model for several other Slovenian municipalities who prepared their first SUMP for a national tender in 2016 and 2017. Ljutomer's second-generation SUMP was submitted as part of the same tender.
The new document sets out even more ambitious plans for the municipality’s future sustainable (urban) mobility development.
To read Ljutomer's first SUMP, covering 2012-2017, click here.
Ljutomer's second SUMP, which will run from 2017-2022, can be found here.
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