ACTIVITY 5.2: Agree objectives addressing key problems and all modes


By Benjamin Baxter / Updated: 28 Nov 2019


To provide strategic guidance, a visioninfo-icon needs to be specified by concrete objectives that indicate the type of change that is desired. Defining objectives means specifying what social, environmental or economic improvements are being targeted, stating exactly what needs to be ‘reduced’, ‘increased’ or ‘maintained’. Objectives are higher-level aims of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planinfo-icon (e.g. cut congestion), while measures (e.g. build a tram) are the means to achieve them. This goal-oriented approach contrasts with a planning approach that focuses on the delivery of schemes and infrastructure without reference to higher-level objectives. Continued stakeholderinfo-icon involvement is a must to ensure acceptance of the identified priorities for mobilityinfo-icon.



  • Specify what the SUMP should achieve, taking into account all aspects of the common vision.

  • Formulate clear objectives and strategic priorities that specify the directions for improvement.



  • Build on the vision by analysing which improvements it outlines. Furthermore, take into account the results of scenarioinfo-icon development, in particular when defining the strategic priorities and the areas to focus on to improve the situation.

  • Take into account relevant goals at the regional, national and EU level.

  • Assess and define the desired improvements together with stakeholders. Prepare and follow up by holding stakeholder workshops and meetings. Agree on a set of strategic objectives for overall themes that reflect the needs of stakeholders and citizens in the urban agglomeration. Not all objectives may be easy to achieve and there may, therefore, be a need to define the most important objectives.

  • Define clear objectives that help to orientate measureinfo-icon selection and design. Specify what should be achieved and when. Objectives usually also include strategic priorities and the areas to focus on to improve the situation. For example, a city might not only set the objectiveinfo-icon to improve air quality and livability but already decided to reduce car use or to become a ‘city of short distances’ to achieve this. These priorities only provide strategic direction (goal-oriented planning), and they should not be too detailed as the exact means are defined only during measure planning (Activity 7.1 and following). The objectives should include an integrated approach to all transport modes while following a shift towards more sustainable modes.


Activities beyond essential requirements

  • Discuss draft objectives with citizens and consider their feedback when defining the final objectives.

  • Consider aligning your objectives to those of external funding bodies to make the measures included in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan attractive for funding. For example, national environmental agencies may be willing to fund measures if a strong focus is put on energy savings or the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

  • During the development of the vision and objectives, and throughout the whole planning process, be conflict-sensitive when finding common agreements. If necessary, consider conflict prevention actions to reduce the risk of dispute and to lower tensions among different stakeholders.


What is an ‘Objective’?

A broad statement describing an improvement that a city is seeking. Objectives specify the directions for improvement and priority areas, but not the means for achieving it.


Timing and coordination

  • Builds on the vision (Activity 5.1) and leads to indicators and targets (Step 6).



✔ Vision reviewed to guide the development of objectives.
✔ Draft objectives developed.
✔ Draft objectives discussed with key stakeholders.
✔ The final set of objectives selected.


Urban Vehicle Access Regulations (UVAR) can show the highest impact when being integrated into a mobility plan. UVARs often combine various measures (e.g. as Low- Emission-Zone, Congestion Charge, Superblocks) to serve a combination of important objectives. Some objectives that can be achieved by implementing UVARs are:

  • Improvement in air quality

  • Congestion reduction

  • Redistribution of road space

  • Increased liveability and attractiveness of public spaces

  • Preservation of historic town centres

  • Noise reduction

Additional objectives that can be achieved and related UVAR measures can be found in the Topic Guide Urban Vehicle Access Regulations and Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning.


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Mandatory objectives adapted to cities of different size


In France, SUMPs (PDU – Plan de déplacements urbains) are compulsory for urban areas with a population of over 100,000 inhabitants. These SUMPs are assigned eleven mandatory objectives. Many smaller cities voluntarily develop either a full PDU or a simplified plan. Therefore, dedicated guidelines were developed to make a distinction between core objectives, which are to be integrated by all (mandatory or voluntary) SUMPs, and optional objectives, which a smaller city could choose to integrate, depending on its own ambition, when developing a simplified plan. Ongoing discussions in France are likely to lead to a legal but flexible definition of the simplified mobility plan after 2020.


Author: Thomas Durlin, Cerema, collected by Rupprecht Consult


GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLE: London, United Kingdom

Objectives for healthy streets


The Healthy Streets Approach puts people, and their health, at the heart of decision making. The Healthy Streets Approach uses 10 evidence-based indicators of what makes streets attractive places. Working towards these will help to create a healthier city, in which all people are included and can live well and in which inequalities are reduced. To ensure that the approach is successful, it is important to embed it in overarching strategies and to make it evidence-based. It is also necessary to involve communities and stakeholders to gather political, community and organisational support.


Author: Chris Billington, Transport for London, collected by Walk 21


Extensive stakeholder workshops for shaping the objectives


To evaluate and discuss Munich’s Transport Development Plan and its objectives, stakeholders were given the opportunity to get involved during numerous public events. This included a mobility workshop that drew approx. 100 attendees to share ideas on future mobility. The ideas were incorporated into the plan and thus set the direction for transport planning. A draft document was also circulated and allowed stakeholders to provide suggestions and highlight issues. Involving stakeholders in the process not only enabled Munich to find mobility solutions for everyone, but to also realise these solutions later. The city aims to increase the number of routes travelled by foot, bicycle and public transport and to quiet traffic in inner-city residential neighbourhoods


Author: City of Munich, collected by ICLEI