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Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning: Pathways and Links to Urban Systems

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SUMP-PLUS (Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning: Pathways and Links to Urban Systems)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2021-02-28

A comprehensive approach to sustainable urban mobility planning and delivery is crucial to maximising the mobility services and wider benefits for European citizens. The European Commission has recognised these challenges by encouraging cities to implement SUMPs and SULPs and have recently updated the associated Guidelines through the ‘SUMP 2.0’ initiative.
SUMP-PLUS is a three-year Research and Innovation Action which started in September 2019, designed to address these challenges and exploit these new opportunities, by developing a strong, rigorous evidence base through our co-created City Laboratories approach, that will be demonstrated in different EU cities, building on the strengths of the existing SUMPs and SULPs. SUMP-PLUS will develop and apply transition pathways towards more sustainable cities, taking into account the need to establish stronger links with other urban system components. SUMP-PLUS will deliver a methodology and supporting analytics demonstrating how to customize the pathway to cities with different characteristics, capabilities, availability of data/resources and aspirations and will produce associated practical guidance tools and training programme (City-Consult, “Train the Trainer) that are targeted to the needs of cities at different stages in their mobility development.
The key policy objectives are to develop and apply a set of context-specific mobility transformation pathways, to demonstrate how cities can develop stronger links with other urban system components, to identify new solutions and to identify and demonstrate new partnerships and business models. These policy objectives will be met and demonstrated through a programme of trials and comprehensive evaluation, in six co-created City Laboratories (CL) Antwerp (BE), Alba Iulia (RO), Greater Manchester (UK), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Lucca (IT), and Platanias (GR)
Research activities setting the conceptual frameworks required to develop a strong, rigorous evidence base through the project Co-created city Laboratories (CLs) have been carried out in WP1 (Implementation Strategy/Transition Pathway and supporting analytical tools), WP3 (governance coordination and capacity building) and WP4 (stakeholders and citizens engagement). The innovative concepts and tools developed/consolidated at research level, on the basis of the review of available literature/research and former relevant projects, have been adapted to the CLs context on the basis of the analysis of local needs, objectives and ambitions; finally the concepts have been introduced in the City Labs for supporting/facilitating the SUMP implementation in the involved cities, through the specification of the Co-created Laboratory Plans (CLPs) which identify the activities to be carried out level at CL level, the intermediate/final outputs and the timeline.
The City Lab activities (WP2) have been started in all the cities with impacts/delay due to COVID-19 which deeply affected the way how the interaction between research and CLs activities would had been worked (face-to-face meetings and cooperation) and required to re-prioritize the city needs and the measures to be considered in SUMP implementation.
The Evaluation methodology and the Evaluation Plan have been released as a general framework for the development of project evaluation activities (WP5). According to the activities implemented in the CLs and the expected outputs, the evaluation methodology is based on qualitative approach and assessment of co-created processes taking place at CL level: process evaluation has been customized and specified for the specific purposes of SUMP-PLUS and CLs activities.
An analysis of recent developments of the research with regard to SUMP concept (SUMP2.0 Topic Guides, other existing SUMP sources) is carried out (WP6) in order to understand how it can contribute at the best expanding the already developed SUMP guidelines with the specific knowledge extracted from project activities. The project communication strategy is defined (WP7) as well as scheduled publications and the communication materials. The website and the Social media (LinkedIn and Twitter) went live. An open call (supported by direct contacts of consortium) has been set to establish the Follower City Group as the main target of project replication activities. The CityConsult Agency to enable different transferability actions (webinars, e-course, co-creation exercise, material) was designed and IT platform implementation already started.
SUMP-PLUS will produce new, practice-based knowledge on how to navigate urban mobility policy through transition. SUMP has been extensively adopted by EU cities but it is a resource-intensive process: in terms of data (collection campaign), manpower and finances. SUMP helps to develop a comprehensive plan, but pays limited attention to implementation pathways. Cities often employ external consultants on which they rely later to do further analysis and model runs with a limited knowledge transfer. SUMP can often ‘sit on the shelf’, having served its purpose of gaining access to national and EU-level funds for major projects.
To address these limitations, SUMP-PLUS will answer producing:
practical strategy for SUMP implementation (5-10 years) to be integrated into the current available guidelines, specifically detailing how to identify the core measures’ packages, how to implement them, which are the key supporting activities in terms of management, resources and finances (grant access, etc.)
roadmap for the definition of a longer terms (20-30 years) transitions pathway to enable cities to accelerate the evolution of mobility policies towards more sustainable and liveable models
examples of analysis between mobility sector and other city sectors acting as demand generation (health service in Manchester, tourism and education in Alba Iulia, tourism in Platanias)
for smaller cities with limited resources/experience, the test of SUMP2.0/Topic Guide combining this with the use of simplified analytical tools for the exploitation of open data (mobility baseline and accessibility analysis) and the introduction of supporting activities aiming to improve governance, capacity building and partnerships through co-creation process and innovative engagement activities
for more fully developed cities which are implementing/updating their SUMPs towards more sustainable targets, the provision of innovative methods and approaches to foster intra-municipal and across-levels governance coordination, capacity building, partnerships enforcement with private/external sectors and business models development
evidence base how well-tailored engagement strategies can support the co-creation processes related to SUMP implementation and create the conditions for enforcing of governance cooperation and policy alignment
a SUMP-PLUS new set of guideline documents focusing on the main approaches and results from the project (Implementation Strategy, Cross-sectorial Links) as extension of the available SUMP guidelines (SMP2.0 Topic Guide)
a wide transferability programme towards the Follower Cities group and beyond consisting of expert training/case study example/knowledge transfer provided by the City Consult Agency, webinars, videos, material, tutorials uploaded on the Agency IT platform and “Train-The-Trainer” workshops. Follower cities will produce an Action Plan for the replicability of CL approaches each Follower has been paired to.