Sustainable urban mobility plans: Bridging climate change and equity targets?

The European Commission (EC) introduced the concept of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) as a new planning paradigm with a focus on people's needs – Planning for people. This represents a change from traditional planning approaches centred on motorized road traffic/infrastructure provision and a shift towards more sustainable transport options. SUMPs require a long-term and sustainable vision for cities and these are to pay special attention to the participation of citizens and stakeholders and to coordination of policies across sectors (transport, land use, health, energy, and so on). The EC guidelines on developing and implementing SUMPs (EC, 2013) establish the following primary objectives of this “new way of planning urban mobility”: accessibility and quality of life, as well as sustainability, economic viability, social equity, health and environment quality. Since urban areas in Europe account for 23%–25% of CO₂ emissions from transport (EC, 2013b; EEA, 2014), SUMPs are expected to contribute to meet long-term climate change policy goals. However, it is less clear how SUMPs can contribute to address key societal challenges such as equity issues in accessibility. According to the EC guidelines SUMPs are still non-existing concepts in most European member states. However, several cities in Europe and beyond have already formulated and adopted SUMPs. This paper is built on a review of former voluntary SUMPs developed in Portugal. A sample of forty case studies is considered in the analysis. It aims: a) to understand how climate change goals and equity issues in accessibility have been addressed through the first generation of SUMPs; b) to reflect on the role of SUMPs as tools to answer climate change goals without putting at risk social equity issues, and c) to outline further research needs in the SUMP approach. The research results are expected to give insights into social equity needs in urban transport and climate change adaptation policies in Europe.


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  • Accession Number: 01605423
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2016 10:36AM