On 18 June 2013, urban mobility and energy stakeholders gathered for the first time to discuss synergies between the EU-promoted concepts of Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP) and Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP).
Many European cities have poor public transport infrastructure, consume too much energy and suffer from congestion. They face challenges in integrating policies and adopting approaches that encourage behaviour change, especially in the areas of mobility and energy.
Cities throughout Europe perceive SUMPs and SEAPs as crucial elements of their sustainable development strategies. Yet, cities often develop the two plans separately from each other.
The international workshop – organised by the ELTISplus, the Covenant of Mayors Office and managenergy and supported by the European Commission (DG MOVE and DG Energy) - brought together 45 representatives from city and regional governments, European organisations, academia, consultancies as well as industry.
Rupprecht Consult as the coordinator of the SUMP awareness raising and training activities in ELTISplus co-organised and moderated (Siegfried Rupprecht) the event. Presentations on the SUMP concept (Frank Wefering, Rupprecht Consult), the SEAP concept (Ana Neves, Covenant of Mayors Office - Climate Alliance) and experiences from the West Midlands, UK (Adam Harrison, West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority), Copenhagen (Annette Kayser, City of Copenhagen - Technical and Environmental Department) and Warsaw (Andrzej Rajkiewicz, National Energy Conservation Agency NAPE, Poland) provided valuable information and a link from theory to practice of SUMP and SEAP development and implementation.
The participants appreciated the opportunity to exchange with urban mobility and energy peers. They asked for the organisation of more events of the same or similar kind as SUMP and SEAP are generally seen as an invitation for cities to enter into a structured innovation process for their city. Workshop participants generally agreed on the advantages of having two separate plans (SUMP and SEAP). However, they recommended making better use of the overlapping stakeholder constellations and similar visions and objectives on the local level to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the plan development and implementation processes.
On the European level, the two European guidance documents on SUMP and SEAP should make better reference to each other. Furthermore, a strong support structure is deemed important to facilitate the development of SUMPs and SEAPs by cities throughout Europe. The European Initiative on Smart Cities should provide opportunities on the implementation level.
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