By Ash Oyofo / Updated: 28 Nov 2019

When the first version of these Guidelines for Sustainable Urban Mobilityinfo-icon Planning was published in late 2013 [ref:2]. 1168 planning practitioners and other experts from all over Europe had contributed to a comprehensive consultationinfo-icon for the definition of this new planning concept [ref:3]. In parallel, the European Commission had systematically developed its urban mobility policyinfo-icon and published its Urban Mobility Package [ref:4] that included a definition of the concept of “Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans” (see Chapter 1.1 below).


What has been achieved since the first edition of the SUMP Guidelines?

Many cities in Europe and around the world have developed SUMPs, while numerous European Union-funded projects and programmes have contributed valuable knowledge that helped cities to develop this new generation of mobility plans.

An entire community of practice has formed around Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning. A wealth of good practices is being shared by practitioners; numerous (mostly) free tools and know-how are available on the Eltis platform (; a coordination platform of major stakeholders and projects has been set-up, and highly successful SUMP Conferences have been held annually since 2014. Finally, having a state-of-the-art Sustainable Urban Mobility Planinfo-icon is increasingly seen as a must-have for forward-looking cities and as a requirement to attract funding for urban transport investments (e.g. in the EU’s Structural and Investment Funds).

The concept of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans is clearly a European success story to which many stakeholders have contributed and from which many cities (and citizens) have benefited. Its success is based on strong European policy coordination and support, practical guidelines that are based on systematic consultation with practitioners, and an active community of practice.


Why was an update of the SUMP Guidelines necessary?

Over the last few years, we have seen major new developments in many areas of urban mobility. Due to new technologies, driverless electric vehicles may soon be on our roads, new business models provide “Mobility as a Service”, and at the same time changing attitudes among travellers result in an increase in shared mobility and cycling. These few examples indicate that important changes are occurring on different levels of the mobility system that made it necessary to rethink and update the original SUMP Guidelines. In addition, a wealth of SUMP implementation experience has been collected that needed  to  be  made  available as  inspiration for         
practitioners across Europe. Finally, several projects and initiatives were about to develop additional guidance on specific planning topics; this had to be integrated to begin forming a structured knowledge base.

Therefore, the process to update SUMP guidance was started in 2018. It included the preparation of this second edition of the SUMP Guidelines, as well as the development of a range of complementary guides and briefings on specific aspects of the SUMP concept. These documents elaborate certain planning aspects in more detail (e.g. institutional cooperation), apply Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning to specific contexts (e.g. metropolitan regions), or provide guidance for concrete policy fields (like road automation or safety).


How was this update organised?

This second edition of the SUMP Guidelines is the result of an intense one-year stakeholderinfo-icon engagementinfo-icon process. It has been developed and validated in close cooperation with the SUMP community. Starting with a large survey and dedicated session at the SUMP Conference 2018, a number of workshops with practitioners and other experts from all over Europe have been organised. By involving several major city networks closely in the update, special care was taken to include feedback from all types of cities and regions [ref:5]. In total, more than 300 transport and urban planners, other practitioners, policymakers, and researchers have contributed to the update. Annex E includes a list of consulted experts.

In addition, the update has been inspired by a thorough review of existing literature, including national planning guidance from several countries with a strong tradition of strategic mobility planning [ref:6]. Together with the first edition of the Guidelines as a solid basis, the literature review, detailed peer reviews of an advanced draft [ref:7], and two dedicated review sessions and a feedback survey at the SUMP Conference 2019 have ensured that the document presents proven high-quality planning guidance.