ACTIVITY 2.2: Link with other planning processes


By Ash Oyofo / Updated: 28 Nov 2019


A principal shortcoming of urban transport planning today is the lack of coordination between other policies and organisations, aside from the integrationinfo-icon of transport modes. Addressing this deficit represents a major challenge (e.g. coordination with land-use planning, environmental protection, social inclusioninfo-icon, genderinfo-icon equityinfo-icon, economic development, safety, health, education, information technologies, energy, housing) for Sustainable Urban Mobilityinfo-icon 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 Planinfo-icon - 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 policyinfo-icon 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, environmentinfo-icon, 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 assessmentinfo-icon, 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 ownershipinfo-icon.

  • Strive to fully embed Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning into the development and implementation schedule of other existing policies and strategies


Activities beyond essential requirements

  • Strive for integration with broader long-term strategies. Some cities and regions have a long-term local development strategyinfo-icon or visioninfo-icon with a perspective of 20-30 years. If such a strategy is available it can provide orientation for the SUMP for defining overarching aims.


Timing and coordination

  • Start from the outset as a continuous activity. Initial review of coordination requirements and potential to be completed before defining the timeline (see Activity 2.3).



✔ 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 monitoringinfo-icon 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 baselineinfo-icon environmental information;

  • Scoping and SEA objectives;

  • Assessment of measures;

  • Prediction and evaluationinfo-icon 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 consultationinfo-icon 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


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Metropolitan SUMP linking territorial, mobility and logistics planning

Bologna took an innovative approach by developing a mobility plan that is integrated on both territorial and thematic levels: its SUMP has been developed for the entire metropolitan area and closely coordinated with sectoral plans for urban logistics and biking. To achieve a common planning process, the team of the Mobility Planning Office planned from the start to bring them together. The key output of Bologna’s case is that stakeholder engagement is a crucial aspect of any decision-making process in a metropolitan area. The main challenge was to find feasible and effective ways for policymakers to steer urban logistics, which is a market dominated by private businesses with often little municipal planning experience.

Author: Catia Chiusaroli, Metropolitan City of Bologna, collected by Polis


Harmonised development of SUMP and SECAP

Based on the SUMP-SECAP harmonisation guide, Monzón developed its SUMP and Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) in an integrated way. The main activities included;

  1. setting up a harmonisation team in charge of developing both plans and of exploiting synergies;
  2. sharing the transport emissions inventory between both plans;
  3. using the same reference year for the inventory of emissions;
  4. carrying out a study to identify which measures can be included in both plans;
  5. prioritising SUMP measures according to their ‘impact on SECAP’ criteria; and
  6.  involving all municipal departments that could be affected by SUMP and SECAP implementation in joint meetings.

Author: Andrea Conserva, Circe Foundation, collected by EUROCITIES


Integration of land-use and mobility planning

Lahti has developed an integrated strategic process, ‘Lahti direction’, for the combined planning of land use and mobility. The aim of the new approach, which was first implemented in 2019, is to build a sustainable city together with citizens, stakeholders and decision-makers. The process is ongoing and cyclical, the strategy will be updated every four years or each council term. It includes the city plan, the SUMP, the environmental programme, and the service network programme. The integrated approach has proven to work well so far. It enhances the cooperation between the land use and mobility planners and improves the engagement of citizens in the mobility planning process.

Author: Anna Huttunen, City of Lahti, collected by UBC