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Sustainable Urban Transport Planning (SUTP)

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

Sustainable Urban Transport Planning (SUTP) is a new planning approach that is growing from and within existing practices and that has been promoted on the European level.The present urban transport planning practices do not effectively tackle all urban transport problems and a more holistic approach is required.The PILOT project was a trial run of SUTP. Four European cities (Braila, Evora, Lancaster and Tallinn) received a SUTP manual to assist them in their planning task. Although it was just a relatively short trial run, SUTP already proved valuable.

Background & Objectives

Urban Transport Planning affects not only transport infrastructures and services, it also affects environmental, cultural and social aspects of society. The existing urban transport planning practices lack an effective, integrated planning method. Here SUTP kicks in. SUTP is an approach supported by the European Commission; it is an integral element of the Thematic Strategy on Urban Environment, which was adopted in 2006. SUTP offers a holistic approach toward urban transport and it promotes strategic thinking and integration. SUTP aims at achieving a sustainable urban transport system by addressing five major objectives:
  • Ensuring transport accessibility for everyone;
  • Reducing the negative impact of the transport system on health and safety;
  • Reducing air pollution, noise and greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption;
  • Improving the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of urban transport;
  • Enhancing the attractiveness and quality of the urban environment.


SUTP does not require cities to dump their existing plans and activities and to start with something completely new. On the contrary, SUTP needs to grow from and within existing practices while constantly pointing out the direction in which these existing planning practices should move.A trial run of SUTP (The PILOT project) was conducted in four European cities: Braila (Romania), Evora (Portugal), Tallin (Estonia) and Lancaster (United Kingdom). The PILOT project was a European Project that ran from 2005 to September 2007 and was supported by the EC’s Environment Directorate General. The four cities received a SUTP manual that gave a concise overview of SUTP and that assisted the authorities in their planning tasks. The manual is available on the PILOT website.


SUTP proved valuable in the four PILOT demonstration cities. Three dimensions of improvement were identified:
  • SUTP helped the transport professionals to adopt a more strategic view on transport policy. SUTP taught the professionals how to link urban transport planning with strategic economic, social, cultural and environmental objectives;
  • SUTP increased the internal cooperation and capacity building; and
  • SUTP helped the cities to establish a new and better citizen approach.
The findings from the PILOT project recommend that SUTP should become a prerequisite for EU-related funding.Finally, the PILOT project shows that SUTP is a complex but achievable instrument and that it can make a real difference.

More information

More information on the PILOT website
Urban mobility planning
Several cities
Annemie Van Uytven
15 May 2008
29 Aug 2014
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