SUMPs for BSR – enhancing effective Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning for supporting active mobility in BSR cities

Organisations from around the Baltic Sea join forces to Promote Sustainable Urban Mobility

14 May 2024
Technical details

The SUMPs for BSR Project is proud to announce a successful meeting, marking a significant step towards a more sustainable future for the Baltic Sea Region. Held virtually, the meeting brought together representatives from cities, universities, and government agencies across the BSR. Led by the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission, the project focuses on empowering smaller and medium-sized cities to develop and implement effective Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

The collaborative spirit was on full display from the start. Participants from diverse backgrounds – city officials, researchers, national transport authority representatives and representatives of Expert Group on Urban Mobility (EGUM) of the European Commission (EC) – introduced themselves and their areas of expertise. City representatives from Turku, Aarhus, Söderhamn, and Vilnius shared their experiences, while researchers from the University of Gdansk and the Institute of Baltic Studies offered valuable insights on sustainable mobility planning. Representatives of the Estonian Transport Administration, Swedish Transport Administration, Finnish National Land Use, Housing and Sustainable Transportation Network, Polish Ministry of Infrastructure, EUSBSR Policy Area Spatial Planning coordinator VASAB, Interreg BSR BATs project, Scandria Alliance and Gauce ir KO, have all emphasized their support for the project and its outputs.

A key focus of the meeting was the cooperation in the development of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation framework and the training package for the successful implementation of SUMPs in smaller or medium-sized cities. Presented by Prof. Marcin Wolek from the University of Gdansk, the framework is specifically being designed to address the challenges faced by smaller cities with limited resources. By establishing clear baselines and recommending relevant indicators, the framework will be a unified tool for BSR cities to track progress towards their sustainable mobility goals.

SUMPs for BSR project announced the details of the training package, presented by Maija Rusanen from the UBC Sustainable Cities Commission. This package aims to transfer knowledge and best practices for SUMP development to local authorities. The package will introduce the basics of sustainable urban mobility plans, and cover various topics, including monitoring and evaluation techniques, promoting active mobility measures like walking and cycling, and collecting relevant data. Through webinars, self-study materials, and interactive workshops, the project will equip city representatives with the skills and tools to implement effective SUMPs.

The meeting also acknowledged the challenges of cooperation across municipal borders in functional urban areas, and the need to address these challenges in the training program, potentially through case studies showcasing successful examples of cross-border collaboration, was emphasized. The topic of cooperation between municipalities for SUMP development was also underlined, the project partners are committed to consider the issue while developing the training materials.

Through fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and capacity building, the project empowers cities to become active participants in the fight against climate change and steering away from car-centric urban environments. Our focus on active mobility, like walking and cycling, paves the way for a healthier and more liveable future for residents across the region.

We look forward to sharing further developments as the project progresses. Future meetings will provide opportunities to review the draft framework, progress of the development of the training package and pilot results, ensuring that the project delivers on its ambitious goals for sustainable urban mobility in the Baltic Sea Region. Stay tuned for updates and developments.