ACTIVITY 1.1: Evaluate capacities and resources


By Ash Oyofo / Updated: 28 Nov 2019


A self-assessmentinfo-icon of planning practices, capacities and resources at the beginning is needed to tailor the process to your local context. This helps you to identify strengths and weaknesses as well as barriers and drivers that might influence the development of a successful Sustainable Urban Mobility Planinfo-icon. An assessment of your current planning practices will determine how closely they align with the principles set out in this guidance document. Closely linked to this is the question of available capacity and resources for developing and implementing the plan. This includes human resources (i.e. available staff and skills) as well as financial resources. Without sufficient resources it will be difficult to carry out a successful plan.



  • Get an honest and clear picture of the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of current planning practices with regard to developing a SUMP in your local context (e.g. political, institutional and legal framework).

  • Ensure that the necessary (wide) range of skills for managing and driving the Sustainable Urban Mobilityinfo-icon Planning process is available in your local authorityinfo-icon and among stakeholders.

  • Assess the confirmed and potential financial resources for running the planning process and for implementing measures.



Planning practices
  • Analyse your current transport planning activities. It is recommended to use the online SUMP Self- Assessment (see tools section) to check to what degree your processes already incorporates the principles of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (are the processes considered fully, to a limited degree, or not at all?). This way you can identify gaps that should be addressed in the new SUMP development process.

  • Identify and analyse drivers and barriers to the plan development process in your urban agglomeration, such as:

  • Drivers that can support the development and implementation of a SUMP (for example political champions, voiced need for better coordination of municipal activities, synergyinfo-icon with another planning process that is just starting).

  • Institutional, acceptability, legal, regulatory and financial barriers that affect the whole planning process. (For example, is the bus company private or controlled by another level of government? Can mobility incomes be used to finance mobility measures? Are you able to influence third party providers (such as ride-hailing companies)? Is there political will and public support at least in principle?)

  • Process barriers that may arise in the course of planning ( for example management or communication between different departments, or elections).

  • Carry out an honest self-assessment as a starting point for improving planning processes and policies. The outcome does not necessarily have to be made public.


  • Assess skills available within the leading organisation(s) and among stakeholders. Ensure that all core skills for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning are considered (see list in tools section).

  • Develop a strategyinfo-icon to cover skill gaps (e.g. through training, cooperation, recruitment or subcontracting). This should be done by someone who is familiar with the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning process (if applicable, in cooperation with your human resources manager).


  • Define the required budget for the SUMP development process and ensure political approval.

  • Assess the likely budgetary framework for measureinfo-icon implementation. Consider local, regional, national, EU and external funding opportunities. This will probably still be a rough estimate at this stage, but it will help you to stay realistic.


Activities beyond essential requirements

  • Apply a peer-review methodinfo-icon with external experts to assess planning practices.

  • Cooperate with other departments or involve external partners (e.g. consultants, universities) to fill skill gaps (for more details see Activity 2.4).


Timing and coordination

  • This activity is needed at the beginning, with results to be taken into account for setting up effective working structures, in particular the core team (see Activities 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4).

  • Essential input to design a locally-tailored Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning process and to decide whether or not external support is needed (see Activities 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 and 2.4).

  • Barriers to be taken into account in the third phase on measure planning.



✔ Strengths, weaknesses and barriers with regard to developing a SUMP identified.
✔ Self-assessment results summarised as starting point to optimise local planning processes.
✔ Required skills and financial resources for planning process analysed.
✔ Strategy to cover skill gaps developed.
✔ Budget for SUMP process politically approved.
✔ Likely financial framework for measure implement- ation assessed.


Methods for assessment of planning practices

Internal meeting and review with SUMP Self-Assessment

A self-assessment can be as simple as a group of people who are involved in the planning process sitting down together to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of current processes and how to improve them. To guide the discussion, it is recommended to use the online SUMP Self-Assessment available on Eltis. Following the completion of the SUMP Self-Assessment, a results page will show how well your planning activities already fulfill the principles of a SUMP and will provide tailored advice for further improvement. By having all meeting participants complete the questions on their own, and then discuss the similarities and differences in responses as a group, highly relevant insights can be gained.

Link to SUMP Self-Assessment:

Peer review

Another way of assessing the planning environmentinfo-icon for a SUMP is by means of a peer review. This means that one or more experienced planners, or other experts in the field, are invited to review the situation in your city. The peer reviewer can consider the quality of the current planning process and organisational se-tup, also benchmarkinginfo-icon them against the ‘best in class’. They can contribute a useful external perspective and feedback on how to best organise the development of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan.

Source: Lasse Brand, Rupprecht Consult; Tom Rye, Edinburgh Napier University

Figure 10: Skill requirements for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning



Budget requirements for SUMP development

The costs of developing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan differ widely depending on the scope, availability of existing plans and studies, and external assistance required. The costliest elements are datainfo-icon gathering and transport modelling, so it is important to be clear about how much data and what level of complexity of modelling is required in your case before seeking approval for a budget. Smaller cities often decide not to use a transport model due to the high costs and limited complexity of decisions in their context, and to focus on measures that have proven successful in similar contexts instead (see Activity 4.1 for guidance on when to use a model). Other aspects that tend to be expensive, but very useful, are a comprehensive participationinfo-icon process as well as professional design and communication.


More info: 

GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLE: Koprivnica, Croatia

Early external support for the SUMP team

In 2014, the city of Koprivnica decided to develop a SUMP. As part of the first stage of the SUMP development process, the city researched which steps it would need to take and the resources required to produce such a document. Based on this research, the Koprivnica SUMP team ascertained that there weren’t enough resources and that therefore there was a need to involve external mobility experts. The SUMP team searched within Croatia for mobility experts with enough experience to guide the team through the development process. With the help of these experts, the city conducted a status analysis and a baseline traffic survey.

Author: Nebojsa Kalanj, collected by ICLEI