A principal shortcoming of urban transport planning today is the lack of coordination between other policies and organisations, aside from the integration of transport modes. Addressing this deficit represents a major challenge (e.g. coordination with land-use planning, environmental protection, social inclusion, gender equity, economic development, safety, health, education, information technologies, energy, housing) for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning, but is also the main source for innovation and improvement.
Linking up with other planning processes and coordinating goals and objectives strengthens your Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan - as well as the plans you link up with.
Mainstream awareness of the interactions between changes in urban structures (density, functions, socio-economic patterns, ecosystems) and mobility in relevant municipal departments and authorities.
Define how Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning and other policies at the local and regional level can be integrated.
Strive for harmonisation of the timing of the SUMP with different technical and political decision-making processes (e.g. overall strategies, sectoral plans, elections).
Establish planning of mobility and transport as a shared policy domain.
Identify local sectoral strategies for transport and mobility (e.g. strategies for different transport modes), as well as local plans from other policy domains that may have an impact on urban mobility (e.g. land use, energy, environment, economic development, social inclusion, health and safety). Also identify relevant plans of local transport operators, service providers and other municipalities in the planning area.
Review whether the goals of the plans support or conflict with sustainable urban mobility objectives. For example, a land-use policy that makes use of brownfield land is supportive, while one that promotes urban sprawl is in conflict with the principles. Another conflict could be, for example, if a health improvement plan emphasises physical activity only through organised sport, as opposed to increased walking and cycling for everyday trips, or if an education policy encourages longer journeys to school.
Identify coordination requirements across relevant policy domains. An example is the relation between land-use planning and transport. Transport impacts need to be considered in the land-use planning process to maximise the use of sustainable travel to new developments.
Link to established regional corporations (e.g. a metropolitan organisation). This also includes long-distance transport corridors, such as the Trans- European Transport Networks – TEN-T.
Consider specific requirements of strategic environmental impact assessment, SEA.
Develop common actions in cooperation with actors from relevant policy fields. Strive for a modification of sectoral policies and practices and/or create new inter-departmental fields of activity.
Ensure regular communication and exchange between relevant authorities (and within authorities, e.g. through regular meetings between transport and land-use planners). Consider including a land-use planner in your core team or steering group and give them a clear role in the planning process to create ownership.
Strive to fully embed Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning into the development and implementation schedule of other existing policies and strategies
Activities beyond essential requirements
Timing and coordination
✔ Relevant policy linkages identified (synergies and conflicts).
✔ Initial options for policy integration assessed.
✔ Dialogue established with concerned actors about integration possibilities.
✔ Initial prioritisation of integration options decided.
One example of linking different planning processes is the harmonisation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning with Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAP). This addresses the need for bringing together strategic planning of sustainable mobility, climate adaptation and energy, and results in two harmonized plans with well-adapted implementation and monitoring
phases. Detailed guidance can be found in the Guidelines for Harmonization of energy and Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning.
Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning
For some measures, it is obligatory to conduct a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA). As SEA and SUMP share common elements, it is recommended to link the two processes. Undertaking a SEA at the SUMP level provides a consistent and holistic framework for decision making. The inclusion of the relevant environmental information and considerations at the planning stage contribute to more sustainable and effective solutions. The SEA should not be approached as a separate exercise but as an integral part of the development of the SUMP, performed in distinct steps that feed to and from the plan:
Collection of baseline environmental information;
Scoping and SEA objectives;
Assessment of measures;
Prediction and evaluation of effects and impacts;
Proposal of mitigation measures and monitoring.
All of the above need to be closely linked to the different steps of the SUMP. Basic pillars for effective decision making within the context of SEA for SUMPS are clarity of responsibilities between authorities, effective public information and consultation and consideration of expressed opinions before the adoption of the plan.
Figure 16: Corresponding activities in SUMP and SEA (EIB/JASPERS)
Linking SUMP with social inclusion policies
In several Belgian cities the development of a SUMP is complemented with policies that increase social inclusion in the domain of mobility. With regard to access to public transport, more than 140 Flemish municipalities and cities have a third-party payment agreement with the public transport provider for bus travels. This means their citizens can benefit from public transport at a reduced fee, often with additional discounts for children, students, and/or the elderly. Moreover, for people who are unable to drive a car and have a low income, sixteen municipalities and cities have a social fee for taxi rides and many more municipalities have a transport- on-demand system with volunteers. In addition, cities and municipalities are increasingly providing trainings to vulnerable groups: The city of Antwerp and Leuven have their own cycling school for adults and the city of Oostende helps newcomers with obtaining their driving licence.
Author: Els Vandenbroeck and Evelien Bossuyt, Mobiel 21