Roundtable on planning of sustainable urban mobility in cities successfully held in Zagreb

Giving streets back to the people is in the focus of SUMPs (Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans). This was one of the messages of the exceptionally attended roundtable, held on the 13th of April 2017 and organized by ODRAZ/ the Secretariat of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE Network, the Association of Cities of the Republic of Croatia and the project "Dialog on mobility in Zagreb" .

The roundtable gathered around 60 participants - representatives of cities, faculties, ministries, non-governmental associations, public and private companies working planning of transportation and mobility, as well as other interested citizens.

After Lidija Pavić-Rogoić (ODRAZ/Secretariat of the CIVINET Network) greeted all in attendance, a welcome address was given by the State Secretary for Traffic and for Sea Nikolina Brnjac from the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of Republic of Croatia, emphasizing the importance of long-term planning as the process involving all interested participants. The moderator of the roundtable was Srđan Škunca from the City of Rijeka, who is also the coordinator of the CIVINET Slovenia-Croatia-SEE Network.

Planning for a better quality of life

A couple of interesting presentations gave an introduction to discussion. The first presentation was given by Aljaž Plevnik from the Urban Planning Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, on the subject "What is a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) and the novelties it brings to planning". At the beginning of his presentation Plevnik emphasized that the reason that multiple SUMPs are being created in Slovenia is the possibility of their financing from the Cohesion Fund. The basic question of the SUMP is - how to increase the quality of life, which is a significant change in relation to existing transport strategies. While in the first phase of transport planning the focus was on the construction of roads and parking lots (planning for automobiles), the second phase was focused on better public transport (planning for people), the third phase promotes walking and cycling, non-motorized transportation and giving public spaces back to the people (planning for a better quality of life). The greatest change in relation to existing planning is its interdisciplinary approach.

In Slovenia SUMPs are used as a response to the need for improvement of current states and the increase in their efficiency. Parking management is one of the most important issues of Slovenian SUMPs, and the first step in its solving is establishing what can be done with existing capacities. Public spaces also get a lot of attention. The main goal is to give streets back to the people, concluded Plevnik at the end of his interesting and inspiring presentation. This kind of principle functions in cities of all sizes, from the small ones to the big ones such as Barcelona.

Possibilities of financing of sustainable mobility projects

The next presentation on the subject "Preparation and financing of projects of sustainable city/urban mobility" was held by ‎Damir Šoštarić, the Head of service for the preparation and implementation of projects at Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Croatia. Šoštarić emphasized the development of sustainable multi-modal mobility as one of the key challenges of the European cities and functional city areas in the programme period 2014.-2020. Many financial instruments of the EU are intended precisely for the development of urban mobility - European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF), Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), Horizon 2020. SUMP definitely creates pre-conditions for  better access to EU funds, emphasized Šoštarić.

The example of creation of SUMP of the City of Sisak

Marko Slavulj from the Institute for urban traffic of the  Faculty of Transport and Traffic Sciences of the University of Zagreb explained the method and the process of creation of SUMP of the City of Sisak, as well as the process of adoption of SUMP and the process of creation of strategic environmental impact assessment. SUMP of the City of Sisak will present basic transport-spatial plan which defines the development of its traffic system in the period to the year 2030, and which should consequently contribute to the economic improvement of the City. It was accepted by the City council of the City of Sisak on the 24th of March 2017.   Slavulj concluded that the whole process of the SUMP creation was characterized by the excellent communication with the City ( the Head/the Mayor), quick gathering of all of the important data for creation of SUMP and that it can be said that the City of Sisak can compare with the other EU cities who have adopted SUMPs.


Citizens first!

The last presentation on the subject "Why citizen participation matters" , based on the example of the project "Dialogue on mobility in Zagreb" was held by the ODRAZ Director Lidija Pavić-Rogošić. The aim of the project is the establishment of cooperation between citizens, non-governmental organizations and the City of Zagreb in order to ensure better traffic solutions as local public good, and it is implemented by ODRAZ in the cooperation with members of the CIVINET - NGO "Union of cyclists" and the City of Zagreb. She emphasized that the European Commission increasingly demands the appropriate inclusion of different stakeholders and citizens in the projects financed by the EU funds. She shortly explained what citizen participation is, what it includes and its benefits for the public sector, the civil sector and the community. She presented currently achieved results of the project, which ends in November of this year.

After the presentation part of the program, lively discussion evolved among participants. After the end of the roundtable it was continued in socializing of a non-formal nature.

*Photo-gallery from the event can be viewed HERE.

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