Monograph chapter dives into SUMP-PLUS work on transition pathways

28 Apr 2021

Monograph chapter dives into SUMP-PLUS work on transition pathways

Meeting the European Green Deal’s target of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050 will require a 90% reduction in transport sector emissions. Reductions from mobility in urban areas will be crucial to meeting this target.

Since the early 2000s, transitions towards sustainable mobility have been quite uneven across Europe. Whilst some larger cities have successfully reducing private car use, but smaller municipalities still have limited experience with Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). To hit climate targets, there is an urgent need to accelerate these green mobility transitions.

A monograph chapter written by Emilia Smeds and Clemence Cavoli from University College London, a SUMP-PLUS partner, presents a concept and guidance developed within the project on how European cities can develop transition pathways towards carbon-neutral mobility by 2050.

The transition pathways approach focuses on ‘backcasting’ from a long-term vision for the future city in 2050, rather than planning with a forecast of future population and traffic growth in mind. This approach focuses on planning within a 20- to 30-year timeframe, relative to the focus of SUMPs on the next 5-10 years.

The pathway includes a mix of sustainable mobility policies that meets a city’s specific emission targets, a strategy for how to overcome the institutional and financial barriers to policy implementation, and a strategic timeline with milestones and clearly acknowledged interdependencies.

The final part of this chapter makes concrete policy recommendations to the European Commission, for how the transition pathways approach could be adopted to support European cities in contributing to the achievement of the European Green Deal, and the potential to strengthen the Commission’s urban mobility policy and SUMP framework.

Alongside findings from the H2020 SUMP-PLUS project, it discusses them within the broader context of the European Commission’s policy for urban mobility. The chapter forms part of the publication Towards a European Green Deal with Cities: The urban dimension of the EU's sustainable growth strategy, which was produced by the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs.

Read the chapter here and more on the pathways concept in the SUMP-PLUS deliverable.

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