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European Mobility Plan Competition

28. January 2019

Since 2012, the European Commission has been regularly holding a competition for sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMP Award). In this way it helps support the creation of sustainable mobility plans and addressing of transport problems across European cities.

What is already the 7th year of the SUMP Award took place this year. Every year European capitals and cities that care about the future of their mobility take part in the competition. They create a long-term plan, the goal of which is to help protect the environment, relieve congested urban roads from traffic and rationally deal with the movement of people and things. We do not yet know the winner, so let us at least look at the history of the award.

The prize is an additional award for European Mobility Week, but is announced separately. Every year the competition focuses on a specific topic. This year the subtext of the SUMP Award is multimodality, which has also become a main theme for the year for the European Commission. Multimodality means utilising various types of transport in a meaningful manner. The aim is to create a chain of linked connections and take advantage of the capacity of means of transport in order to reduce individual transport entering the city or within it. This concerns both trips that we take every day, for example to and from work, and irregular or spontaneous trips. At issue are not only people from the specific city, but also those from the surrounding areas (in the case of Prague, the metropolitan area along with part of the Central Bohemian Region), who usually commute to work. Naturally tourists are also included and last but not least transported goods.    

Individual winners

Currently the last winner was Turda, Romania, where according to the project manager they endeavoured primarily to simplify the life and movement of local citizens with an emphasis on families, as well as to build up pleasant public spaces. Great emphasis was placed on bike-sharing with surrounding destinations. Turda also has the ambition to become a "smart city".

The fifth year was won by the Belgium capital of Brussels. By 2050 an 80% increase in transport is expected there, with goods transport being the greatest burden. Transport experts thus concentrated on the means by which goods are transported, with a regard for local inhabitants and the necessity of reducing traffic jams.

Malmö, Sweden received the prize in the competition's fourth year. Transport in the city has been operating at a relatively high standard for some time already, with the priority naturally remaining reducing the number of cars in the streets and supporting other types of transport, a typical example being cargo bikes.

The third year was won by Germany's Bremen, a city that is highly in favour of bicycle transport, which they promote well and gladly there. Also contributing to reducing CO2 emissions is the local system of car sharing. The city can coordinate transport of goods to the local port (and elsewhere) thanks to quality monitoring and processing of transport.

The prize from competition´s second year went to the city of Rivas-Vaciamadrid in Spain. Its population has grown severalfold over the last few years and its position just beyond the boundaries of Madrid is one of the aspect that has influenced traffic planning there. Commuters thus have regular train connections and park-and-ride lots at their disposal, plus the bike sharing system. And integral part of their success was also transport education, cooperation with organisations focused on the environment and also successful efforts to reduce noise.

The very first year was won by Aberdeen in the UK. The city had to deal with an enormous traffic burden, which was helped in part by a communication campaign, in particular promotion by cycling. Actively involving local citizens in the process was an important step. Changes to transport behaviour thus not only led to greater use of bicycle transport, but also say to car sharing.

And how do we work with urban mobility in Prague? We once again took part in Car-free Day, which was the traditional culmination of the annual European mobility week. We also prepared our own promotional video, which you can view on our YouTube channel. It is stored here.