First workshop of the CH4LLENGE project

The CH4LLENGE project will develop innovative and transferable solutions to 4 key challenges of SUMP: participation of stakeholders; institutional cooperation; effective measures; and monitoring and evaluation of SUMP processes and measures.

The project kicked off on 21-22 May in Cologne and will go on for 3 years until March 2016. The STEER project is run by a consortium of nine cities and eight support organisations. In addition, about 30 follower cities from almost every EU Member State are part of the project. The goal of CH4LLENGE is to actively facilitate the take-up of Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning (SUMP) in European cities, and to establish a cross- initiative dialogue on overcoming SUMP challenges. The main focus of CH4LLENGE is on the pressing transport and mobility needs of cities in the new member states where the potential for positive impacts is the greatest.

The first out of four workshops was held in Gent on 2-3 July. The main topic of the workshop was Stakeholder Participation and Citizen Involvement. The workshop demonstrated the diverse cultures in sustainable urban mobility planning in Europe. Some of the cities are beginners in SUMP and would like to get more information and knowledge about the topic. Others are in the middle of the preparation process and would like to get practical hints about the preparation and implementation of SUMP. Yet others already have some kind of SUMP and would like to improve their document and/or its implementation; or would like to improve their performance related to project’s challenges.The project will therefore support the follower cities at different stages of working with SUMP. The CH4LLENGE consortium will develop “challenge kits” and will set-up an e-learning platform.

During the workshop Gent and Dresden – Polis members – gave good examples of stakeholder involvement and citizen consultation from their own practice. A site visit to the Gent station area, which is currently being reformed, reflected several issues that reoccur in public involvement strategies related to SUMPs. The next CH4LLENGE workshop will take place in Leeds on 4-6 November and will focus on the second challenge: institutional cooperation.