ACTIVITY 1.3: Ensure political and institutional ownership


By Ash Oyofo / Updated: 28 Nov 2019


Identifying key stakeholders and ensuring that they feel ownershipinfo-icon is crucial for the long-term success of Sustainable Urban Mobilityinfo-icon Planning. A good stakeholderinfo-icon analysis can help to identify possible conflicts and coalitions, and how these, in turn, may affect your planning process in terms of geographical coverage, policyinfo-icon integrationinfo-icon, resourceinfo-icon availability, and overall legitimacy. Early involvement of political and institutional stakeholders helps them to feel ownership and makes it more likely that they will support the outcomes of the process.



  • Create a sound basis for durable cooperation between all stakeholder groups.

  • Identify possible synergies or conflicts between stakeholders.

  • Enhance steering capacity and acceptance for the development and implementation of your SUMP.



  • Identify all relevant stakeholders as well as their objectives, power, capacity and planning resources (e.g. using a stakeholder mapping toolinfo-icon, see skill table and influence-interest matrix in tools section below).

  • Strive for a broad coalition that supports your SUMP and feels ownership. Achieving the support not only of the governing party but also of the opposition helps to ensure continuity. Avoid substantial conflicts with one or more powerful actors, but stay true to the core principles of sustainable mobility. Draw up a simple stakeholder coordination strategyinfo-icon to guide this task.

  • Meet key politicians and practitioners personally at an early stage to discuss their views and involvement.

  • Promote the idea of Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning to politicians and colleagues in all relevant departments, for example by organising awareness-raising seminars or an excursion to a model city for sustainable mobility.

  • Take an open and transparent approach to actor cooperation from the outset (including organisations beyond the municipal borders), securing the involvement of actors from different policy fields (e.g. different administrative departments).


Timing and coordination

  • From the outset – identification, and analysis of stakeholders.

  • Reassess regularly if changes in stakeholder coalitions occur.

  • Start awareness-raising activities early in the process.

  • Political support and involvement are needed constantly, see Figure 2 for an overview of the timing and coordination of political decisions.



✔ Stakeholder groups identified.
✔ Analysis of actor constellations carried out.
✔ The basic stakeholder coordination approach developed.
✔ Political support established.
✔ Overall commitment to sustainabilityinfo-icon principles from key stakeholders achieved.


Depending on the field of action, different types of stakeholders should be involved in Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning. When it comes to urban logistics, a diverse set of stakeholders is affected. Therefore, the Topic Guide Sustainable Urban Logistics Planning recommends to set up a multi-stakeholder platform for urban logistics planning.



Three main groups should be directly involved in the process through the platform:

  • Supply Chain Stakeholders (e.g. Freight Forwarders, Transport Operators, Shippers, Major Retail Chains, Shop Owners)

  • Public Authorities (e.g. local, regional or national government)

  • Other Stakeholders (e.g. industry and commerce associations, consumer associations, research, and academia)

  • Experts

More information about the platform and how to integrate urban logistics into Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning can be found in the Topic Guide.


Identification of relevant stakeholders

The table below helps you to involve stakeholders that have all the necessary skills and knowledge for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning. It allows you to check your ideas of whom to involve, and to identify (new) organisations or people that bring in missing skills or knowledge. The concept states that SUMPs are only successful in cases where the partners involved have four functional abilities:

1.    Capacity to gain political support
2.    Competence over transport networks and services
3.    Technical excellence in SUMP development
4.    Capacity to gain public support or to understand the urgencies and needs of the public

Figure 11: The Kingdon Model applied to SUMP: functionalities and corresponding relevance, stakeholders and assets (based on Cré, I., Mourey, T., Ryder, A., Heckley, S., Balant, M,, 2016. CH4LLENGE Institutional Cooperation Manual: Working jointly with institutional partners in the context of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans, p. 24, cooperation-kit).


Analysis of actor constellations

After stakeholders have been identified, the constellations between these actors should be analysed. This analysis should be based on a list of different criteria or attributes which are relevant for the respective case, e.g. interest, power, influence on each other, coalitions, etc. This way you can find out what the objectives of each stakeholder are, what their hidden agendas are and whether they regard themselves as ‘winners’ or ‘losers’ if a given project is implemented.

The objectiveinfo-icon of a systematic analysis of actor constellations is to get a clear picture of conflicts of interests or potential coalitions and to be able to better determine clusters of stakeholders who may exhibit different levels of interest, capacities and knowledge in the respective issue. This can, for example, be done by developing an ‘Influence-Interest Matrix’, which groups stakeholders by their level of influence/importance:

Figure 12: Influence-Interest Matrix (based on UN-Habitat, 2001. Tools to Support Urban Decision Making, Nairobi, p. 24)

During the stakeholder identification process, consider identifying the role of existing ‘local champions’. These are key personalities in the local network that are well recognized because of their personal skills, contacts, and their significant role for mobilising resources, creating alliances etc. In the context of the SUMP, consider an early strategic assessmentinfo-icon of their role - such persons can have an extraordinary influence on the process, and you might want them to stand by your side.



More info: 


Regular roundtable meetings for decision-makers

SUMP measure planning, BKK Centre for Budapest Transport established a ‘SUMP Committee‘. With regular roundtable meetings, it serves as a forum to speak about and coordinate measures and project plans. The committee can also make proposals to the city council about new SUMP measures. It has 21 members from the main stakeholder institutions such as the municipality, ministries and governmental institutions of transport planning, national railway company, regional council, main operators and experts from universities. Personal contacts and the professional organisation of the events is necessary for forming an effective committee.

Author: BKK Centre for Budapest Transport, collected by UBC

GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLE: London, Brussels, Dresden, Groningen, Ljubljana

Strong mayors for SUMP

In the recent past, several high-level politicians in European cities have offered strong support to sustainable mobility and to their local SUMP. The mayors often focus on a specific measure, objective or vision. London’s (UK) Mayor Sadiq Kahn focused his strategy on accessibility and air quality. In the Brussels region (BE), former minister for mobility, Pascal Smet, supported the shift from a car-oriented city to a city made for people. In Dresden (DE), Councillor Raoul Schmidt- Lamontain proudly promotes the ‘MOBI’ branding, which applies to sustainable mobility modes and services. Groningen‘s (NL), Vice-Mayor for Mobility, Paul de Rook, pursues the long bicycle-friendly tradition of the city. Ljubjana‘s (SI) Vice-Mayor Dejan Crnek has a European promotional role as he chairs the CIVITAS Political Advisory Committee. He has strongly developed multimodality in his city.

Collected by Polis