ACTIVITY 8.1: Describe all actions


By Tom Wood / Updated: 28 Nov 2019


Information has already been gathered in the previous step of measureinfo-icon selection, where measures and measure packages were defined, selected and described in general terms and discussed and validated with citizens and stakeholders (see Activity 7.1 and 7.2). Now it is time to go into more detail and break down the measures into actions. You define what will be carried out how, where and when during the implementation phase.

By specifying the actions, you define how exactly you want to reach the set targets. The detailed action descriptions prepare the implementation phase and help you to identify relationships between actions and then to decide on the order of their implementation.



  • Define the measures of your SUMP in detail through breaking them down into actions.

  • Identify links between actions and find the best order of implementation.

  • Consider and contain important implementation risks.



  • Break the measures down into several actions, e.g. prior to the construction of a bicycle highway, a study should identify where commuters regularly cycle and where bikeways are needed.

  • Describe all actions in as much detail as possible. These four questions can guide the specification:

    • Where should the action operate?

    • When should the action operate?

    • Who will use it?

    • How intensively should it be used? e.g. km of new bus lanes or number of new buses in operation.

  • Identify links between different actions in order to set up the most effective order of implementation. With the identification of relationships between actions, you might also find out how they relate to and can benefit from each other in the actual implementation.

  • Present actions in an overview table (see template table in Activity 8.3), including detailed action descriptions, legal requirements, expected contribution to objectives, as well as suggested priorities, responsibilities and timeline. The table can be further updated with cost estimates and funding sources in Activity 8.2

Activities beyond essential requirements

  • Prepare action factsheets that provide all key information about an action in a structured way (see factsheet in toolinfo-icon section below). Factsheets can facilitate the handover to and communication with implementing units in the implementation phase (see Activity 10.1).

Timing and coordination

  • Actions build on defined measures and measure packages in Activity 7.2.

  • The detailed description of actions provides an essential basis for the agreement of priorities, responsibilities and timelines in Activity 8.3.

  • The description of actions prepares the implementation phase.


✔ All actions identified, defined, and described.
✔ Relationships between actions identified.


What is an ‘Action’?
Actions are the concrete tasks to be carried out in the implementation of measures. They include information on priorities,
timing, responsibilities, budgets and funding sources, risks and contingencies, and dependencies among them.


For more information

SUMPs-UP - Standards for developing a SUMP Action Planinfo-icon,

CH4LLENGE Measure selection manual - Selecting the most effective packages of measures for Sustainable Urban Mobilityinfo-icon Plans,


Figure 34: Example factsheet for different actions of measure “Marking and extension of cycle paths"

More info: 


Programme of actions with clear priorities


The Birmingham Mobility Action Plan sets out a 20-year vision for the city’s transport network. Alongside this, Birmingham Connected - the city’s SUMP - acts as the umbrella for all transport planning activity. It outlines the desired direction; the key initiatives to achieve the vision; and a five-year strategy. In turning its vision into concrete schemes and initiatives, Birmingham is following four key principles: enable different transport modes; create an equitable transport system; utilise a corridor approach that balances competing needs; and coordinate project delivery to minimise disruption. Estimates show that up to £4bn is needed over the next 20 years for the foreseen changes.

Author: Helen Jenkins, City of Birmingham, collected by Ana Dragutescu, ICLEI


Comprehensive measure factsheets


The Turin SUMP consists of seven guiding principles, divided into targets and measures. Each measure is described with a high degree of details including related actions; connection to the guiding principles; connection to the target; type of sustainability aspect; general description and objective of the measure; responsible entity; implementation mode; aim of the measure and corresponding indicator; implementation period and economic resources needed. Each individual measure is assessed in terms of economic, social and environmental sustainability. The measures have been defined in close cooperation with the ten administrative districts, professional associations and different stakeholders.

Author: City of Turin, collected by EUROCITIES