In 2013 the European Commission set out the concept of a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), a strategic planning document that deals with the complexity of urban mobility in a more sustainable and integrative way. Today, cities across the continent are embracing this concept and experiencing the positive effects on their transport systems and their citizens’ quality of life.
The European Commission's Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award was launched in 2012, successfully repeated in 2013 and presented for a third time in 2014. The aim of the award scheme is to encourage the adoption of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) by local authorities across Europe and to reward outstanding achievements in each year’s SUMP Award thematic priority area.
The European Commission has for many years emphasised the importance of calculating the costs and benefits of CIVITAS measures in money terms, using cost-benefit analysis (CBA). However, in previous CIVITAS projects, cities have found it difficult to do a CBA because of a lack of a simple user-friendly tool that does not demand too much data, time or prior knowledge from the user.
Cycling as a mode of transport can be seen as a driver of jobs and economic activity just as much as cars and public transport vehicles. The European Cyclists' Federation has produced a report which examines the contribution that cycling makes to economic and job growth across the EU, ranging from bicycle manufacture and repair, to cycle tourism, to the economic impact of public bike-sharing schemes.
Increasing the numbers of people who choose to cycle rather than drive is a well-established method to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. The European Cyclists' Federation has produced a report which examines the evolution of air pollution concentrations in five European cities (Antwerp, London, Nantes, Seville and Thessaloniki), concluding that cycling is an effective tool to reduce urban air pollution when combined with other sustainable mobility measures.
In identifying measures to resolve mobility problems, local authorities often have to select from a number of different options. When making a decision about which measure is most suitable to pursue, economic feasibility and the extent of a measure's impact are crucial factors to consider.
The TIDE project has produced a document comparing the use of multi-criteria analysis compared to a conventional cost-benefit analysis when assessing measures. These are also illustrated with examples carried out in cities involved in the TIDE project.
The EVIDENCE Project is examining the quality of the evidence on the effects of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) measures, to identify ‘what works’. SUMP measure appraisals (ex ante) can demonstrate very favourable ratios of benefits to costs when subject to the analysis techniques applied to major transport infrastructure schemes.