The challenges that cities and communities face in the search for sustainability and better quality of life are increasingly significant. Cities of different sizes have a crucial role in contributing to EU 2020 targets aiming to improve the efficiency of energy use and to cut down CO2 emissions. Urban transport is a major source of energy consumption and green house gas emissions and can thus make a big contribution to meet these goals, but also to ensure the attractiveness of our cities. Cities, with a well-functioning and sustainable transport system, are not only environmentally friendly places, but are also attractive and good places to live and work.
European Commission has underlined in many of its policy documents that strategic and integrated approach to transport infrastructure planning is needed but also to policy making in order to link transport better with environmental protection, healthy environments, land use planning, housing, social aspects of accessibility and mobility as well as industrial policy. There is a wide consensus that Sustainable Urban Mobility planning contributes to a better quality of life in an urban area and is a good way of tackling transport-related problems in urban areas more efficiently.
Recently launched CH4LLENGE project, funded by the IEE-programme, is one of the initiatives supporting cities in the preparation and implementation of SUMPs.
By building on previous experiences and lessons learned from past and current national and European SUMP initiatives, CH4LLENGE has identified common challenges which pose significant barriers in the wider take-up of SUMPs in Europe.
During the 3-years project CH4LLENGE will develop innovative and transferable solutions to:
1. Overcome challenges related to the participation of stakeholders.
2. Provide transferable strategies for institutional cooperation.
3. Elaborate a solid approach to identify SUMP´s effective measures and measure packages.
4. Present methodologies for the monitoring and evaluation of SUMP processes and measures.
The nine participating cities represent the diverse cultures in sustainable urban mobility planning in Europe. Those cities spearheading the new planning paradigm are; Amiens (FR), Dresden (DE), Gent (BE) and West Yorkshire (UK), followed by Brno (CZ), Budapest (HU), Krakow (PL), Timisoara (RO) and Zagreb (HR), who all have strong commitments towards the advancement of their own SUMP processes.
In addition the project will support 30 European cities at different stages of working with SUMP and offer them guidance and training possibilities to develop or further improve their SUMPs. From UBC network Turku and Kotka from Finland, Gdynia from Poland, Kaunas from Lithuania and Tartu from Estonia and Kalmar from Sweden will be closely involved with the CH4LLENGE project.
Based on the results and experiences of CH4LLENGE cities, the project will develop practical SUMP challenge kits consisting of ‘quick facts’ for decision-makers, a measure option generator, manuals and e-learning courses covering the four defined SUMP challenges. The kits are aimed at local practitioners working with mobility and transport in European cities and regions.
UCB EnvCom coordinates the dissemination and communication activities in the project.
For more information, please contact:
The CH4LLENGE website www.sump-challenges.eu will be launched in autumn 2013. For the moment, more information can be found at UBC EnvCom website.
Follow CH4LLENGE in Twitter
Text by: Maija Rusanen, Project Coordinator at UBC EnvCom