Reaching SUMP-PLUS’s ambitious objectives will require strong support from business, policymakers, and citizen groups and innovation in the engagement methods used. Stakeholder engagement in SUMP-PLUS focuses on developing relationships between major actors involved in the mobility sector and other relevant policy areas at the local level, as well as creating a tailored strategy for each city to boost existing collaboration.
A range of innovative engagement methods and scenario approaches are planned in order to explore the attitudes to change, willingness to adapt, and likely behavioural responses. The main goals of these activities are:
- Understanding the current situation concerning engagement with stakeholders, citizens, and business in SUMP-PLUS cities and how to move forward;
- Creating local platforms that enhance development and implementation of the engagement strategy;
- Assessing the efficiency of the methods applied and building the foundations for future engagement.
SUMP-PLUS will utilise three engagement instruments, whose application will alter according to each city’s local context and focus. Be it a better integration of various governance levels, developing joint planning processes and more integrated solutions, or engaging in behavioural change campaigns and more targeted citizen engagement, the instruments make a wide variety of aims achievable.
The engagement instruments
Local Mobility Forum
A Mobility Forum aims to improve institutional cooperation and participation in transport planning processes by facilitating communication among stakeholders. Gathering relevant stakeholders allows them to discuss solutions to specific problems. Groups involved might include municipality departments, public transport companies, other mobility operators, city or district councillors, various associations (e.g. for cycling, air quality, or certain social groups), and local shopkeepers and business associations. Such meetings have helped local administrations improve local policies and overcome barriers to mobility strategy implementation.
City Mobility Integrator
The City Mobility Integrator is a platform that enables the exchange of views and information between representatives of various local authority departments. The Integrator facilitates a common understanding of mobility issues and how they impact on decision-making and (daily) activities across a municipal administration. They also facilitate joint planning processes. In this way, City Mobility Integrator meetings contribute to establishing links between mobility and other urban system components.
Citizen Engagement Platform
The Citizen Engagement Platform serves as a tool for cities to consult their citizens on and involve them in the decision-making process concerning mobility issues. The citizen engagement exercises are tailored to each city’s needs and support their City Lab activities. The Citizen Engagement Platform and the engagement it facilitates play a role in realising all major project objectives, in particular mapping out transformation pathways.
The development of these instruments in each SUMP-PLUS city is followed by a number of city cross-fertilisation exercises, both in city pairs and at project level. The exercise at project level will also include a number of follower cities. Including them will allow cities to exchange experiences on engagement methods, approaches and good practices, whilst helping to consolidate the outcomes of the engagement strategies in each city.