ENDURANCE e-update January 2015
  en | cz | de | es | fr | it | lt | pl | pt | si
ECOMM website allinx feedback subscribe unsubscribe fullscreen news archive
tweet share on facebook

Dear reader,

The main task for the National Focal Points (NFPs) in ENDURANCE is to create enduring national SUMP networks to encourage and support cities to engage in sustainable urban mobility planning and implementation. These networks foster a national policy and national support for SUMPs; facilitate national knowledge sharing between cities; and provide information, training and training materials in the local language. Each NFP has to look for the structures, topics and activities that best fit their national situation. In this e-update we will have a look at the various solutions they have come up with and share their first successes with you.


The scope of the ENDURANCE networks

Many cities recognise the value of exchanging knowledge and experience with other European cities. European city networks such as EUROCITIES, ICLEI and Polis are built on that premise. However, for cities there are often barriers to participation such as language and travel. From the beginning, EPOMM recognised the importance of regional and national policy frameworks for mobility management (MM) and therefore has NFPs in each member country. Within the EPOMM-PLUS project it started building 21 NFPs in all 21 countries participating in EPOMM-PLUS. These networks bring together local, regional and national authorities and transport professionals from a single country. Many ENDURANCE networks are being built on the structures created during the EPOMM-PLUS project. The CIVITAS Initiative also recognised the importance of language, and founded the CIVINETs, local-language networks of cities from one country or neighbouring countries. Where possible, ENDURANCE and EPOMM co-operate with the CIVINETs.

With its national networks, ENDURANCE allows cities to learn from other cities in their country and from international experience in their own language. The basic tools to reach this goal are annual national networking events and training sessions. Cities that join the network get a page on the country pages of the ENDURANCE website.


Acquainting cities and practitioners with SUMPs


© Genev

In countries that do not have a well-established national SUMP framework yet, ENDURANCE meetings focus primarily on the SUMP concept and how it could be implemented in these countries.

In Sweden there is a planning support that is similar to SUMP called TRAST. ENDURANCE first made a comparison between the two systems in order to clarify similarities and differences between these systems. The conclusion was that they are very similar.

In Ireland, the first network meeting in June 2014 was focused on getting planners from the cities to engage with the idea. Top level managers from Cork, Limerick and Galway attended the meeting together with a representative from the National Transport Authority. What the cities would like is a more refined SUMP process that fits very well with the Land Use and Development Planning System in Ireland. At the next network meeting in 2015, the Irish NFP, the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT), will present a report on how SUMPs could be best integrated into the existing planning systems in Ireland.

National meetings also give the opportunity to get feedback from cities on the difficulties they have to initiate or improve their SUMP process. Examples of major challenges include:

  • time and resources; the need for information on funding opportunities
  • institutional and communication barriers within municipalities
  • securing co-operation from adjoining administrative areas
  • the need for national policy or changes in legislation to support sustainable urban planning
  • the high level of stakeholders’ participation
  • establishing a detailed complex planning process
  • the relation between urban mobility and local businesses
  • the function of the ‘mobility officer’ which is not yet legally established (Czech Republic)
  • lack of monitoring and evaluation strategies and know-how within cities
  • difficulties to involve stakeholders in monitoring and evaluation
  • fear of pressure from interest groups

In countries that do have a sound national SUMP Framework, such as France or the region of Flanders in Belgium, meetings usually consist of more in-depth discussions on a certain topic. The first French meeting for instance focused on:

  • stakeholders' involvement and citizens' participation in the development of SUMPs: presentations of Amiens and Grenoble (links in French); and
  • monitoring and evaluation of SUMPs: presentations of Toulouse and Rennes (links in French).

Several NFPs also use their events to disseminate useful SUMP tools such as the ADVANCE audit.


Influencing national policy

Estonian Ministry of Economy.
Photo: Epp/GNU FDL

Working on a national level also allows to influence the national agenda and to get national and regional authorities on board. Our Estonian NFP SEI-Tallinn has been successful in bringing sustainable urban mobility issues on the national agenda of the Ministry of Economy (responsible for transport and energy strategies) and the Ministry of Interior (spatial planning strategies). The new national transport implementation plan that the Ministry of Economy adopted this year includes a long list of sustainable urban mobility measures that were missing in the previous plan. For example the government commits to:

  • providing guidance and capacity building to cities and towns on sustainable urban mobility planning
  • developing national guidance on planning for walkability
  • Analysing institutional and capacity gaps for sustainable mobility

Customised support to cities

First Austrian ENDURANCE meeting

Testing Dansih mobility board game in Estonia.
Photo: Tiina Salumäe, SEI-T

Best practices
One way in which cities can benefit from ENDURANCE is to get inspired by the good examples presented at the national network meetings. The first Austrian ENDURANCE meeting for instance featured three best practices of how cities reorganise public space to accommodate ’soft’ modes and to improve quality of life: the redesign of Vienna’s main shopping street, the implementation of school streets in Bolzano and the focus on sustainable modes in the mobility strategy of Graz.

Policy transfers
For more intensive exchanges, ENDURANCE uses EPOMM’s policy transfer scheme. For instance, the Estonian government took part in a policy transfer to adopt a Danish mobility board game. This is a fun role-based strategy game that takes the players through different issues, stakeholder views and dilemmas in urban mobility planning. In a first meeting at the SUMP conference in Sopot, the Danish NFP presented the game to the Estonian representatives. Last autumn, our Estonian NFP SEI-Tallinn held a testing workshop together with Estonian mobility and energy experts and officials from the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Environment. The final version of the board game will be ready by the next national workshop in February 2015.

SUMP assessment
With the help of a self-assessment questionnaire, cities can determine together with the NFP how advanced they are in the field of SUMP and what aspects they have not (fully) mastered yet. The NFP can then give advice or look for relevant publications (and translate them if necessary), experts, or other experienced cities to help the city improve its SUMP process. According to the needs of the cities, the NFP can organise training sessions to build capacity on a certain topic. The training section of the ENDURANCE website lists SUMP trainers per country and SUMP-related training materials.


Network constructions

Second Bulgarian ENDURANCE meeting

First joint ENDURANCE – CIVINET meeting in the Czech Republic

Many of the ENDURANCE NFPs use network structures that already existed at the start of the EPOMM-PLUS project in 2009. For instance:

The first two are government-funded initiatives, while the latter is an independent non-profit membership association that funds its activities through membership fees and sponsorships.

Other NFPs created firm partnerships to steer and fund their network.

The BEPOMM network in Belgium, which focuses both on MM and SUMP, is supervised by a steering committee of the regional governments of Brussels and Flanders, and the NFP Mobiel 21. The governments take turns in hosting the national meetings, while Mobiel 21 manages the daily operations of the network.

Partnerships can also be temporary or less fixed. The Swedish NFP, the National Road and Transport Research Institute, promotes participation in ENDURANCE through six existing city networks. The NFP already contributed to meetings of three of those networks.

For the second Bulgarian meeting, CSDCS forged a strategic cooperation with the national association of municipalities, which organised a meeting of municipal experts in European projects in the beginning of November. This resulted in a joint event with ENDURANCE.

In the Czech Republic, the launch of the ENDURANCE network coincided with the birth of the Czech-Slovak CIVINET (link in Czech), which was founded in 2014 as an official legal entity. Instead of competing for the same audience CIVINET, ENDURANCE and BUMP presented their offer together at the first national meeting of the network on 20 February 2014. At the end of the year Smart Cities Magazine devoted an entire article to the SUMP theme and the ENDURANCE network (link in Czech), which was distributed to all Czech and Slovak municipalities of over 5,000 inhabitants.


Join the network!

ENDURANCE will continue to organise national networks and to support cities until Spring 2016. After that, the networks should be self-sustaining and keep organising knowledge-exchange and networking opportunities. As the European Commission considers SUMP to be a vital instrument for delivering its Transport White Paper, it is critical that cities continue to learn from each other and receive support when developing and improving their planning process. If you want to be involved in this important movement, contact the NFP for your country.


Upcoming events

  • ECOMM – European Conference on Mobility Management
    May 20-22, Utrecht, Netherlands
    see website
  • 3rd World Collaborative Mobility Congress (Wocomoco)
    June 25-26, Innsbruck, Austria
    see website

For more events, please visit the EPOMM Calendar.

ECOMM website allinx feedback subscribe unsubscribe fullscreen news archive