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Getting the wheels rolling towards sustainable urban mobility in Alba Iulia


20 Jun 2022


Getting the wheels rolling towards sustainable urban mobility in Alba Iulia

Image: Calin Stan / Dreamstime


Alba Iulia - an emerging tourist destination in central Romania with historical heritage sites and the challenge of heavy road traffic - has been laying the foundations for implementing its sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP). Faced with the challenges of meeting EU climate and urban mobility policy goals, local authorities of small and medium-sized cities across Europe, such as Alba Iulia, are adapting and re-structuring the way they work.

In Alba Iulia this adaptation has begun with the creation of a working group of representatives from all departments relevant to mobility issues, such as transport, environment, land use, economic development, social policy, health and energy. The creation of a working group is a key step at the very beginning of a SUMP implementation process; a high level of cooperation is essential for identifying what capacities and resources are available for the SUMP team to achieve a successful transition pathway. The SUMP working group is the main space for these actors to meet, discuss their respective needs and agree on a joint course for action.

Although there are several SUMP topic guides available on how to build a SUMP working group as a coordination mechanism to achieve an integrated implementation management, European cities often face challenges in the process. While the guidelines do propose recommendations on how to overcome some challenges, additional work is often required for some cities to come up with tailored solutions. In the case of Alba Iulia, the absence of a mobility department in the municipality, combined with a large variety of stakeholders with contrasting views and interests, had previously led to an implementation gap. However, within the SUMP-PLUS project, the Sciences Po CEE team has been supporting the municipality in laying the foundations for its multidisciplinary SUMP working group.

At a recent SUMP-PLUS workshop, the Sciences Po CEE team guided the participants in considering three alternatives for how to best involve and structure the relevant parties in the planning and implementation process, based on the latest literature and best practice from European cities. This led to a timely discussion about the concrete solutions needed to enhance existing government capacities. The workshop also provided the opportunity to plan the working group’s agenda and develop a yearly work plan to manage SUMP implementation. With these essential foundations in place, the working group is now looking to close the implementation gap and get the wheels rolling towards Alba Iulia’s sustainable mobility goals.

 

Explore more about Alba Iulia’s SUMP-PLUS activities.

Learn more about SUMP-PLUS partner, Sciences Po, Centre for European Studies and Comparative Politics, via its website or contact: munise.avsar@sciencespo.fr

 


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