Definition – Sustainability is often used as a short form for sustainable development, for which the most commonly cited definition is: development that meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. A very widely established attempt to operationalise this term stipulates that sustainability requires a careful balance between social, economic and environmental goals (often referred to as the “three pillars”).
Relevance to SUMP – As the term Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan itself makes clear, sustainability is a principle that is central to the SUMP concept. The SUMP Annex to the EC Urban Mobility Package states, “A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan has as its central goal improving accessibility of urban areas and providing high-quality and sustainable mobility and transport to, through and within the urban area…”
In pursuit of this goal, a SUMP seeks to contribute to the development of an urban transport system which includes “…[meeting] the requirements of sustainability, balancing the need for economic viability, social equity, health and environmental quality.”
With respect to the selection of transport measures and modes, the Annex advises that “a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan fosters a balanced development of all relevant transport modes, while encouraging a shift towards more sustainable modes”.
Source: UN, 1987; UN, 2015; EC, 2013