SUMPs-Up came to Sofia for three days of intense learning, exchange, and mutual inspiration. The 2nd SUMP Learning Group gathered 13 cities from 7 countries for its first workshop, followed by a meeting of 23 mobility practitioners from all over Bulgaria on day two and an event of national level actors on the final day.
Day 1: The 2nd SUMP Learning Group consists of small or medium sized cities with limited experience in sustainable urban mobility that are determined to develop a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP). 13 cities from 7 countries gathered in Sofia for their first workshop. They learned from Erik Stok from Hengelo in the Netherlands how important involving citizens in the SUMP process is: “The participatory process makes politicians accountable to the citizens”. Later in the afternoon a rich discussion among the SLP 2 cities developed about the cooperation challenges they face, complemented by a tour of the city on a vintage tram.
Day 2: 23 mobility practitioners from all over Bulgaria gathered to exchange experiences with sustainable mobility in their cities. Sofia and other cities presented the measures they are using to transform the mobility mindset in the country, followed by inspiring discussions.
Day 3: On the final day, SUMPs-Up has gathered national level actors. Key messages at the event were that a national level SUMP framework is vital to guide and support cities, and that national level guidelines and an approval process are needed to ensure consistency in the plans developed. Alan O'Brien from JASPERS emphasised that "mobility doesn't respect territorial boundaries". Cities and regions need to look beyond municipal lines, consider their mobility links and shared needs, and work together.
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