POLIS member Brussels Capital Region wins 8th SUMP Award

POLIS proudly congratulates our member Brussels Capital Region on winning the 8th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMP Award), focusing on this year's theme of "safe walking and cycling". Cycling and walking are healthy and efficient alternatives to motorised personal transport. The annual award is part of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK campaign, an EU-wide project established in 2002 and supported by POLIS.  

Alongside Brussels, the jury also selected Kaunas (LT) and Wroclaw (PL) as finalists of this year’s award. The three finalists created ambitious plans long before municipalities across Europe made significant efforts to provide safe cycling path and pavements for citizens during COVID-19. EU-funded projects and political exchanges were often a great base for political initiatives to boost cycling and walking, which largely resulted in the creation of SUMPs in the three cities.  

The jury, which consists of Fabian Küster representing the European Cyclists’ Federation, Siegfried Rupprecht from Rupprecht Consult and Bronwen Thornton from Walk21, selected the three winners from a record pool of 30 participants. The three experts chose Brussels as the winner, because the city provided a "policy-driven vision, which is built upon impressive citizen participation, stakeholder outreach, and an understanding of the city as an ecosystem".  The current award-winning plan is already the third iteration of a SUMP in the ‘Capital of Europe’, focusing on a strict speed limit for cars in the city centre, enhancing pavements and extending the network of cycling lanes 

The two other finalists equally impressed the jury. As the second largest city of Lithuania, Kaunas recently started to implement its SUMP, which stands out as it sets various ambitious KPIs for walking, cycling and public transport. The jury summed up the efforts of the Lithuanian city as a "well thought out and progressive approach to sustainable mobility planning, recognising the role of enforcement in making the plan a reality".  

Wroclaw was honoured as the third finalist, as its SUMP includes an increase of cycling paths from 420km to 600km and a successive enlargement of a 30km/h speed limit in the centre. These measures will give more than 70% of citizens direct access to the cycling network to reach the old town in 30 minutes or less.  

POLIS hopes that initiatives like the SUMP Award will encourage other European municipalities to follow in the footsteps of the finalists and possibly even adapt these best practices. If you want to learn more about the winners and the campaign, please see the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK website or the SUMP Award press release.