Urban mobility planning is a challenging and complex task. Planners need to manage many, sometimes conflicting demands and requirements on the local level and even beyond when it comes to contributing to European climate change and energy efficiency targets. The complexity increases in case of political change and, as is currently the case in many European countries, severe financial constraints.
A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan contributes to reaching the European climate and energy targets set by EU leaders. It has been widely promoted by the European Commission, for example, via the Action Plan on Urban Mobility (2009) and the Transport White Paper (2011) as a new planning concept able to address transport-related challenges and problems of urban areas in a more sustainable and integrative way. It is expected that Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans remain on the policy agenda of the European Commission and the Member States.
In contrast to traditional transport planning approaches, the new concept places particular emphasis on the involvement of citizens and stakeholders, the coordination of policies between sectors (transport, land use, environment, economic development, social policy, health, safety, energy, etc.), between authority levels and between neighbouring authorities. Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans require a long-term and sustainable vision for an urban area and take account of wider societal costs and benefits with the aim of “cost internalisation” and stress the importance of evaluation.
The guidelines are the result of a thorough and European-wide expert consultation process organised between 2010 and 2013 as part of a service contract for the European Commission. They define a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan as a strategic plan designed to satisfy the mobility needs of people and businesses in cities and their surroundings for a better quality of life. Such a plan should not be considered as “yet another plan”. Instead, a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan should build on existing planning practices and take due consideration of integration, participation, and evaluation principles.
The guidelines are introducing the concept and the benefits of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans as a new planning paradigm (Part I). They are describing and explaining the essential steps and activities to develop and ultimately implement such a plan (Part II). The guidelines are enriched by references to tools and sources of further information as well as more than 60 examples from all over Europe illustrating how individual activities of the plan development (and implementation) were carried out in practice. A complete compilation of the examples can be found in Annex C. Furthermore, Annex D offers urban transport and mobility planners a checklist of milestones to be achieved.
It is hoped that these guidelines will serve as a useful contribution to making urban areas more liveable today and in the future.