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29.10.2014
SUMP ripple effect across borders
South Baltic projects inspire Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning, aka SUMP. The will to cooperate for more liveable Baltic communities was the predominant sentiment during a conference examining the Baltic efforts to advance towards more resource efficient urban mobility.

Contemplating strategies to reshape urban mobility for more liveable Baltic communities was the recurring theme of the conference “Baltic Sea Region advancing towards Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning” held on 23rd and 24th October 2014 in Gdynia. The conference was designed to examine the sequence of small but consequent steps making the leap from congested streets in polluted urban areas to safe and sustainable mobility networks. Stakeholder involvement, demand-oriented planning and measure selection, legislation and law enforcement, holistic mobility modelling including logistics and pedestrians as well as auditing and certification were among the aspects acknowledged by leading urban planners and mobility experts as indispensable actions propelling a process of continuous urban mobility improvement.

“Cooperation is the bedrock of SUMP”, was one of the general conclusions of the gathering, be it inter-institutional cooperation, cooperation between the public and private sector or cross-border cooperation triggering a ripple effect of good practice.

The SUMP ripple effect across borders was the tagline of a session designed to illustrate the role that cross-border cooperation plays as a SUMP stimulus. In a joint effort, Ivo Volt of the Central Baltic programme and his South Baltic transport counterpart Robert Mazurkiewicz introduced the INTERREG concept as well as the relevant funding priorities for future cross-border efforts to develop transport sustainably.

Moderated by Vassilen Iotzov of the South Baltic programme secretariat, the session sought to exhibit the merits of cross-border cooperation projects. Representing the pivotal SUMP stakeholder levels, an expert panel composed of South Baltic project practitioners shared insights into a series of micro SUMP measures emerged from cross-border cooperation. Pär Wallin of Växjö Municipality, Mayor Hubertus Wunschik of Kröpelin, Jacek Piotrowski of Szczecinek's  self-government agency for promotion and culture, Tadas Mėžinys and Marius Lukas of Klaipėda's Public Transport Authority as well as Krzysztof Perycz-Szczepański of Gdańsk's city administration reported on the migration pathways of good practice across the border, and how this influenced the mobility patterns in their communities. Seeking to attain zero carbon footprint by 2030, for example, Växjö’s authorities introduced  electric mobility schemes after a study visit in Germany within the cross-border project ELMOS.  In turn, Växjö’s model of assimilating private electric mobility into the public transport system by means of a pedelec charging shelter accessible with a public transport ticket sparked the interest of Gdynia’s cycling planners.

Another source of inspiration was the first cycling-friendly street in Poland. Following a study trip to Copenhagen and Malmö as part of the project abc.multimodal, the Gdańsk city administration has remodelled a major street connecting the district of Wrzeszcz, which is the most populous part of Gdansk, with the university campus. One of the two lanes initially designed for motorised traffic has been completely dedicated to cycling. The route grows in popularity by leaps and bounds, particularly among the young people. 

Current modal split observations of South Baltic youths reveal that young people consciously pursue sustainable mobility patterns in order to influence policy-making and the way their communities develop. Being mobile across borders and having the strong attributes of early adopters, the South Baltic youth heralds in good practice in urban planning and transport policies.

“We must engage today, as we are the ones to live with this tomorrow” said Karolina Rapa, a 17th years old school student from Szczecinek who participated in transport camps designed to scrutinise local transport networks in Szczecinek, Greifswald and Klaipėda within the project Baltic Youth Influencing Transport Policies, aka BAYinTRAP. Speaking on behalf of her fellow-students, Karolina attended the conference to voice their demands for sustainable mobility planning, signalling a paradigm shift in mobility behaviour: “Our generation is different from our parents' generation and we have to engage because it's our future”.


The perseverance of measures was at the heart of the panel discussion. Mayor Hubertus Wunschik of Kröpelin reported about the plans of the local NGO de DROM e.V to further develop the ride sharing platform established within the project Mobile Together integrating complementary information provided by the public transport providers. The goal is to maintain a durable multimodal trip planning service ensuing seamless connectivity for their fellow citizens.

Long-term measures suggested by the young BAYinTRAP enthusiasts such as bicycle carriers attached to public transport minibuses and a mobile application showing the real arrival and departure times of public transport means are now part of the mobility culture of Szczecinek and Klaipėda, targeting far beyond the projects’ lifetimes as Jacek Piotrowski and Tadas Mėžinys reported.

Organised within Baltic Sea Region Competence Centre on SUMP, the conference was a joint effort of the Union of Baltic Cities, particularly the Commissions on Transportation and Environment as well as the City of Gdynia.


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Publication: "Smart transport development in South Baltic" Publication: "Smart tourism development in South Baltic" Publication: "Smart business development in South Baltic" Publication: "Smart environmental solutions in South Baltic"
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