SUMPs in Denmark


Denmark is considered one of the forerunners in introducing green city planning and environmentally sound transport. The first national transport policies were implemented in the 1990s. The latest Denmark`s green transport policy aims at improving mobility while reducing pollution and emissions in cost-effective way. The Danish cycling culture is strong and bicycling infrastructure in Denmark includes plenty of segregated dedicated bicycle paths and lanes. A New national cycling strategy is to be published in the summer 2014. However, the SUMP concept is new in Denmark and it is not required by law.

The division of competences in the area of transport has been made between the State (national level), the Regions and the municipalities. Notwithstanding the existence of national transport policy, the national focus on sustainable mobility is not that strong. The Regional focus is stronger but the regions are lacking of legislation and formal approach to transport and land use planning. Danish local governments and municipalities have significant role in enhancing sustainable mobility and legal competences lies exclusively with the municipalities. When it comes to lack of national guidance the Capital Region makes an exception, as there is a specific land use planning legislation called “Fingerplan”, allowing the major building process to happen only around S-train commuter rail lines.

Cities have been developing voluntary plans considering sustainable urban mobility. Five of the largest cities (Copenhagen, Odense, Aalborg, Esbjerg, and Roskilde) have been actively linked to SUMP-like processes. In smaller cities, SUMP methodology has been introduced, and the cities have made their own models based on that. From a financial point of view, in the area of developing sustainable mobility lot of executive power leans in municipalities, most of which have difficulties to fund their activities. In that sense it would also be significant if SUMPs processes can reduce cost when aiming to fulfil the goals related to sustainable development and green mobility.                

Source: Endurance project