European Commission releases new Urban Mobility Framework

By Francesco Ripa / Updated: 14 Dec 2021

The new initiative – part of the wider “Efficient and Green Mobility Package” released on 14 December – aims to make urban mobility more sustainable, smart, and healthy.

To support the transition to cleaner, greener, and smarter mobility, in line with the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Commission today adopted four proposals that will modernise the EU’s transport system. By increasing connectivity and shifting more passengers and freight to rail and inland waterways, by supporting the roll-out of charging points, alternative refuelling infrastructure, and new digital technologies, by placing a stronger focus on sustainable urban mobility, and by making it easier to choose different transport options in an efficient multimodal transport system, the proposals will put the transport sector on track to cutting its emissions by 90%.

Over 70% of EU citizens live in cities which generate 23% of all transport greenhouse gas emissions. To help the European Union reduce greenhouse gas emissions (by at least 55% by 2030 and by 90% by 2050), the urban mobility framework initiative proposes measures to encourage EU countries to develop urban transport systems that are safe, accessible, inclusive, affordable, smart, resilient, and emission-free.

A more ambitious approach to sustainable urban mobility planning

The new framework announces a more ambitious approach to sustainable urban mobility planning (SUMPs) and related indicators.

This complements the proposal for revised guidelines for the Trans-European Transport Network, according to which the largest 424 EU cities on the TEN-T network should adopt a sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP) by 2025 and collect relevant data.

In a bid to promote active mobility and protect vulnerable road users, revised SUMP guidance documents will have a strong focus on walking and cycling. Moreover, new guidance will be released on the safe use of micromobility devices and quality infrastructure for vulnerable road users.

The new framework also covers making urban transport resilient, environmentally friendly, and energy-efficient by identifying zero-emission solutions for urban logistics.

Measures to achieve this objective include obligations to put in place recharging and refuelling infrastructure for electric and hydrogen vehicles in cities, improved coordination, dedicated funding for cities under the EU Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities, and integrate sustainable urban logistics plans (SULPs) within the SUMP framework.

On-demand passenger transport and digital mobility services

As part of the New Urban Mobility Framework, the European Commission will publish new guidance in early 2022 covering on-demand passenger transport, such as taxis and Private Hire Vehicles with drivers (PHV), to ensure it can become more sustainable and deliver efficient services to citizens while helping the single market to function smoothly and addressing social and safety concerns.

In a bid to accelerate digitalisation and innovation, urban mobility is incorporated in the ongoing legislative work on the provision and processing of commercially sensitive data for multimodal digital mobility services – such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) applications – and a common European mobility data space to facilitate access to and sharing of mobility data.  

Moreover, a detailed study will be undertaken in 2022 to map and clarify which digital solutions are available to enable more effective and user-friendly low-emission zones and other types of urban vehicle access regulation.


In addition to the new Urban Mobility Framework, the Efficient and Green Mobility Package covers updates to the Regulation on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), a revision of the Directive on Intelligent Transport Systems, and an action plan to boost long-distance cross-border passenger rail.

Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said, “Europe’s green and digital transition will bring big changes to the ways we move around. Today’s proposals set European mobility on track for a sustainable future: faster European rail connections with easy-to-find tickets and improved passenger rights support for cities to increase and improve public transport and infrastructure for walking and cycling, and making the best possible use of solutions for smart and efficient driving.”

Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean said, “Today we are proposing higher standards along the TEN-T network, boosting high speed rail and embedding multimodality, and a new north-south Corridor in Eastern Europe. With our Intelligent Transport Systems Directive we are embracing digital technologies and data-sharing. We want to make travel in the EU more efficient – and safer – for drivers, passengers and businesses alike. The cities linked by EU infrastructure are our economic powerhouses, but they must also be lean cities – for inhabitants and commuters. That is why we are recommending a dedicated framework for sustainable urban mobility - to guide the faster transition to safe, accessible, inclusive, smart and zero-emission urban mobility.”


For more information


Policy and research