The three finalists of the 8th SUMP Award: Brussels, Kaunas and Wroclaw

By Conall Martin / Updated: 16 Dec 2020

This year’s winner of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning Award was Brussels Capital region.

In recent years Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) have become central to transport policy in cities and regions throughout Europe. The aim of these plans is to tackle major mobility challenges including congestion, pollution, climate change and road safety. They also facilitate cooperation between different levels of government with local residents and key stakeholders, to enable the integration of new mobility services.

As such, SUMPs have become important indicators to assess how regions and cities are progressing in key areas such as “accessibility, environmental sustainability, security and cost-effectiveness of transport options”.

Although the winner of the 8th SUMP award was announced earlier in the year, together with the winners for the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK awards and the EU Urban Road Safety Award, all awards were formally presented at an awards ceremony during Urban Mobility Days 2020. For the SUMP award, Brussels Capital Region was closely followed by finalists Kaunas (Lithuania) and Wrocław (Poland). The victory is indicative of the significant progress being made by POLIS members in transport services. Three renowned European experts in the fields of active mobility and sustainable urban mobility planning were responsible for judging the competition: “Siegfried Rupprecht of Rupprecht Consult, Bronwen Thornton from Walk21 and the European Cyclists’ Federation’s Fabian Küster.” 

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, cities and regions have been forced to seek alternatives to public transport networks. Therefore, the theme chosen this year was walking and cycling, with a focus on “the integration of safe, active mobility in sustainable urban mobility planning”.

Municipalities throughout Europe have made significant progress in the introduction of innovative infrastructure for walking and cycling. However, this year’s SUMP finalists have gone above and beyond to exemplify how such transport options can be included in long-term plans for urban modal splits. Brussels in particular has made strides in improving and optimising their public transport network in recent years. Key factors contributing to the region’s victory include its cycling plan which set the goal for a complete and safe cycling network, as well as the impressive level of citizen participation. Indeed, various EU projects have shown that including local stakeholders in the development of urban mobility agendas is crucial for their success.

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Urban mobility planning