Overall background on SUMPs
Over the last few years, a number of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) were developed in Greece on a purely voluntary basis, as there was no mandatory legal framework in place to oblige local authorities to design and implement such plans. The plans were based on the Etis SUMP guidelines, but not all SUMP elements in the guidelines, nor the steps that encompass a SUMP cycle, were always included.
The growing interest in sustainable urban mobility planning, both at the European and national level, led to the establishment of a unit within the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in 2017, which was dedicated to the development of SUMPs in Greece.
In order to establish a uniform way of elaborating, examining and monitoring SUMPs based on the principles of sustainable urban mobility planning, a regulation was introduced in 2019, (Article 22 of Law 4599) which described the minimum key elements and obligations that a SUMP should encompass. A few years later in 2021, Law 4784 (Articles 1 to 14) was introduced, which established more detail on the principles, processes and elements of a SUMP, as well as making it a legal obligation to prepare a SUMP for certain Municipalities and Regional Authorities.
SUMP legal framework
The Law 4784/2021 (Articles 1 to 14) defines a “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan” based on the definition given in the Eltis SUMP guidelines. It specifies that SUMPs can be developed by Municipalities or a union of Municipalities or Regional Authorities, and it makes SUMPs mandatory for Municipalities over 30,000 inhabitants, as well as for Municipalities located within the region of responsibility of Athens and Thessaloniki Public Transport Authorities (OASA and OSETh, respectively), and for all Regional Authorities across the country (Article 1).
In addition, the Law (Article 3) describes a set of nine transport objectives that local authorities should, at a minimum, plan implementation measures for their area of intervention. These objectives are:
- enhance public transport;
- promote cycling, walking and micromobility;
- ensure accessibility and security for all within the transport network;
- promote road safety;
- encourage the reduction of car use;
- manage the efficiency of parking lots;
- promote electromobility and alternative fuels;
- improve urban logistics;
- make use of new technologies.
The law also incorporates the Eltis SUMP cycle and steps into three SUMP phases: A. SUMP Preparation, B. SUMP Elaboration and C. SUMP Implementation, monitoring and evaluation. A ministerial decision is issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport for each SUMP that meets the requirements of Law 4784/2021. During the SUMP Implementation phase, local authorities must conduct a biannual progress report, based on the SMART targets and indicators that they have decided upon during their SUMP Elaboration phase.
SUMP status in Greece
Based on the results of a survey conducted in September 2021 by the competent unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, approximately 120 municipalities were in the process of preparing, elaborating or implementing a SUMP. More authorities are expected to follow as a result of the enforcement of Law 4784/2021.
* The deviation in numbers refers to the data collected from the survey that was addressed to local authorities as opposed to the data available to the Ministry.
Funding for the implementation of SUMPs
SUMPs are mandatory for certain Municipalities and all Regional Authorities across the country. It is foreseen that proposed SUMP measures that meet the requirements of Law 4784/2021 and fall within the areas of responsibility of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, will be examined by the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport and may be prioritised for inclusion in the annual Public Investment Program. Furthermore, if the proposed SUMP measures are road safety-related, in accordance with the Strategic Road Safety Plan guidelines, these measures could be financed by the Public Investment Program or by national resources set up for this purpose. At present, a number of Municipalities are eligible for funding to develop a SUMP through the “Green Fund” (a body operating under the Hellenic Ministry of Environment and Energy).
Monitoring SUMP implementation
Under the provisions of the legal framework for SUMPs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport has the authority to monitor the development of SUMPs in Greece.
Member state contact:
Division of Sustainable Urban Mobility,
Directorate of Transport Development,
General Directorate of Strategic Transport Planning and Road Safety.