Competences in the field of transport in Belgium are distributed between the federal state (national level), the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and Brussels-Capital Region.
In all regions the municipalities are responsible for the development of integrated local mobility plans. The regions provide a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) related framework guidance. Some inter-municipal or city region plans have been developed, in order to better tackle common problems and challenges. The evolution towards transport regions will lead to modifications of the legal framework in the next legislature. Currently, adjustments are being made towards the broadening of the grant schemes for projects, more precisely for supra-local cycle infrastructure.
In Flanders, 308 of the 311 cities and municipalities have a mobility plan. From 2013, the construction of a mobility plan, with a focus on promoting sustainable mobility, is obliged for all cities and municipalities. The relevant law is the ‘Decreet betreffende het mobiliteitsbeleid’, (Decree on local mobility policy 2009, reviewed in 2012). Only the monitoring and evaluation aspect of mobility planning needs to be developed further as to be able to learn and better plan for the future. A long-term vision for the overall Flanders 2030-2050 mobility plan was entered a consultation phase in November 2013. In early 2019, Flanders implemented a major change to its mobility policy by putting into force a new regulatory framework for regional mobility plans (R-SUMPs).
The Brussels Capital Region has an 'IRIS'-plan. This integrated transport plan defines mid-tem strategies between 2015-2020 and has the priority to combat congestion by reducing motorised traffic by 20 per cent until 2018. Each of its 19 municipalities/cities will have to construct their own mobility plan that fits within this larger plan.
In the Walloon Region, 10 years after the 'decree on local accessibility and mobility plans', an awareness-raising process has resulted in the financing and uptake of SUMPs for many cities in the Walloon Region. The Walloon Region's administration published examples of eight of Wallonia’s biggest cities in a brochure, promoting SUMP.
A co-operation between the city actors and the Region Mobility Department (SPW Mobilité) resulted already in diversity of measures that reflect a maximum balance between economic development, environmental protection and social needs. A new way of 'integrated and multimodal vision' has been politically accepted. Nevertheless, in the next years and decade certain improvements can be made: skills development, order and (follow up and evaluation) methodologies have to be improved, as well as participation and communication can be worked on. These conditions have also to be fulfilled in all other municipalities.
Sustainability objective: The local mobility policy of the three regions make clear reference to sustainability objectives.
Public involvement: The new ‘Gemeentedecreet’ in Flanders (Decree on the functioning of municipalities) requires municipalities to engage citizens in all kind of planning activities.
Linked with finance: Municipalities need a ‘SUMP’ that has been approved by the supervising regional authorities to get any type of funding for local mobility and transport.