SUMP Conference Preview: Intelligent Planning for Sustainable Mobility

By News Editor / Updated: 26 Apr 2017

Sustainable urban transport systems can greatly reduce noise and air pollution, lower energy use, improve citizen health and enhance quality of life. City planners across Europe are increasingly aware that to achieve these benefits requires careful planning, the involvement of a range of relevant experts and stakeholders, and an understanding of the wider goals of the municipality.

One of the most effective ways of bringing these disparate strands together to form a unified vision is through a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). SUMPs build on the existing regulatory and policy frameworks in a municipality, and integrate sustainability, citizen participation, intermodality, and more. In recent years, the concept has gained popularity across the continent, with a large number of cities working to integrate this concept in their daily transport planning practices.

Next week hundreds of delegates from academia, city authorities, consultancies, the European Commission, European Union Member State governments and transport authorities will gather in Dubrovnik (Croatia) at the 4th European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans to discuss and exchange on sustainable urban mobility planning, and how intelligent planning can help sustainable mobility.

Taking place on 29-30 March 2017, this year’s event follows on from the three previous conferences held in Bremen (Germany) in 2016, Bucharest (Romania) in 2015 and Sopot (Poland) in 2014. The conference, for which over 400 people have now registered, will explore how more sustainable, intelligent and integrated planning processes, and appropriate sets of policies, can deal with population growth, congestion and pollution.

The conference promises to be a fruitful experience for all participants, whether they are from the public or private sector. To facilitate a knowledge-exchange experience that is as useful to everyone as it possibly can be, the conference offers different session formats and types of interaction. It includes three plenary sessions, 12 presentation sessions with more than 35 presentations, and four challenge sessions.

The content of the conference is built around four themes. Big Picture investigates the interface between mobility planning, land-use planning and urban design, while Making the SUMP Framework More Effective will help delegates learn about sources of support beyond the city’s own SUMP. Integration and Innovation Challenge investigates areas of key policy interest, including freight, parking, safety or IT solutions, and Planning Techniques will give updates on planning methods and tools. For more details, see the final conference programme.

Delegates will also be able to enjoy seven site visits that provide a unique possibility to get to know one of the most famous and best-preserved old towns in Europe, and an exhibition-style Market Place for EU-funded projects and initiatives that helps to gather ideas, share visions, exchange knowledge and encourage further co-operation.

'That over 400 people have registered for the conference illustrates the importance of this topic,' said Fred Dotter from the EU-funded CIVITAS PROSPERITY project, one of the conference organisers.  'Two-thirds of the participants are from the public sector, local, regional or national governments, ministries and federal agencies. This shows the conference is the principal annual event to debate key issues, highlight developments in intelligent mobility planning and exchange ideas and experience. It also shows that SUMPs are highly relevant and important for cities around Europe.'

For more information on the SUMP conference, and to download the agenda, visit