Introduction to SUMPs

Urban transport is a major consumer of energy and emitter of greenhouse gases, and cities of different sizes have thus a crucial role in contributing to EU 2020 targets of improving the energy efficiency and cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.  The European Commission has emphasised in many of its transport-related policy documents such as the Action Plan on Urban Mobility, the White Paper: Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area and the Urban Mobility Package that strategic approaches and the integration of transport planning policies with other policy sectors like environmental protection, land use planning, housing, social aspects of accessibility and mobility as well as economic development are needed.
There is wide consensus that sustainable urban mobility planning contributes to a better quality of life and is a way of tackling transport-related problems in cities more efficiently. Sustainable transport modes, which include cleaner vehicles and public transport as well as cycling, walking and intermodal modes such as taxi and car sharing, should play a major role in future urban transport systems. Cities should apply different measures in order to promote the use of these modes.

The European Commission promotes sustainable urban mobility planning in order to enhance transport planning processes. A Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) is a strategic document designed to contribute to meeting European targets. It builds on existing planning practices and takes due consideration of integration, participation and evaluation principles. It is the result of a structured process that comprises status analysis, vision building, objective and target setting, policy and measure selection, active communication, monitoring and evaluation – and the identification of lessons learnt.

The basic characteristics are:

  •  Long-term vision and clear implementation plan;
  •  Participatory approach;
  •  Balanced and integrated development of all transport modes;
  •  Horizontal and vertical integration;
  •  Assessment of current and future performance;
  •  Regular monitoring, review and reporting;
  • Consideration of external costs for all transport modes.


Good examples and guidelines

Various approaches to sustainable urban mobility planning exist throughout Europe. While some countries such as France and the United Kingdom are considered forerunners, strategic urban transport planning is still new and in many other countries only partly applied.  Many cities in the Baltic Sea Region have already taken a step away from a car oriented planning approach towards planning culture with people as its focus with their new generation mobility plans.  Examples of such plans but also of different steps in the sustainable urban mobility planning process, have been collected in this portal from our region. 

To help European cities to prepare such plans, Guidelines – Developing and Implementing a sustainable Urban Mobility plan have been prepared. The guidelines explain which steps are essential for sustainable urban mobility planning and include best practice examples from European cities, and tools and references for each step. The document is aimed at practitioners and decision makers in urban transport and mobility as well as other stakeholders who would be involved in the preparation and implementation of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). In 2014, European Commission will set up A European Platform on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans to coordinate EU cooperation on developing the concept and tools further.

In 2016, CH4LLENGE released four SUMP Kits to support mobility practitioners in SUMP preparation and delivery. Each kit consists of a Quick Facts Brochure, a SUMP Manual and an e-learning course. The brochures present concise summaries of the challenges while the manuals are dedicated to providing detailed advice underpinned by city examples. Brochures and manuals are available for download at in nine languages: Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian.The online courses invite mobility professionals to learn more about SUMP and the four challenges at their own pace and from anywhere in the world.

Guidelines and good examples:
SUMP Brochures:
European Union policy documents on sustainable mobility:
Other material related to SUMPs:
Other SUMP projects:


ENDURANCE aims to assist cities and regions with developing Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) by facilitating networking, mutual learning and sharing of experience and best practice across countries. This will be done through establishing enduring national SUMP networks in all EU countries and Norway.

CH4LLENGE addresses the four most pressing challenges in sustainable urban mobility planning: participation, cooperation, measure selection and monitoring & evaluation. Read more about it at

BUMP – Boosting Urban Mobility Plans offers local authorities with populations ranging from 40.000 to 350.000 inhabitants in 9 EU countries an integrated training and coaching package, for free of charge, to guide them through the steps to develop their Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans.