SOLUTIONS partners hosted a parallel session at the 3rd European Conference on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans which took place on 12-13 April in Bremen, Germany.
Titled “SUMP goes global! Fostering two-way learning and exchange channels”, the session gathered examples from international exchange within the SOLUTIONS project to demonstrate how the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) concept has inspired planners on other continents, and what can be learned in Europe from other planning approaches.
This session highlighted the benefits of city-to-city and international exchange from SOLUTIONS cities Belo-Horizonte (Brazil), Bremen (Germany), Budapest (Hungary), Kocaeli (Turkey) and Kochi (India), and provided insights into successful international cooperation and learning.
The speakers on the podium, made up of representatives of the cities, gave short presentations, discussing what challenges their cities faced regarding urban mobility, what their most successful sustainable urban mobility solutions were, and how they benefited from the participation in the project.
Budapest said that cities need to change the principle from "predict and provide" to "aim and manage” when thinking about sustainable urban mobility measures, while Bremen and Belo Horizonte highlighted that public participation was important in order to share mobility problems and solutions with citizens and get their support. It was also important to modify and improve arguments when addressing citizens, such as saying that improving air quality is necessary not because of a European directive, but to improve their health.
The SOLUTIONS cities also agreed that transport problems were not unique and that others face similar challenges, such as limited time and space, and cars having a high status among the public. Other topics touched upon included how it is important to educate politicians (e.g. on the costs of car use) in order to successfully introduce sustainable urban mobility measures, and how it is crucial to realise that there is no need to “re-invent the wheel” but instead adapt good examples.
Photographer/Copyright: Wolfgang Loock and Eduardo Cinta/Eltis