Strengthening Skills and Partnerships for Sustainable Urban Mobility


Written by Giuliana AMBROSINO, MobiliseYourCity

The third and last day of the MobiliseYourCity Asia event was dedicated to training workshops on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs). Practitioners and cities’ representatives had the opportunity to learn hands-on from experts. 

After a theoretical overview of SUMPs and the MobiliseYourCity methodology, participants worked in small groups, talking about challenges and opportunities that may arise during the development of SUMPs. Led by the consultants Harold Hurel and Elizabeth Drake, participants had one hour to try to address the challenges of SUMPs’ development and raise their questions and doubts. The practical exercise allowed them to understand better SUMPs, their goals, and the timeline for implementation. To conclude the exercise, Harold Hurel suggested using the “inspiring and useful indicators to monitor the SUMP’s implementation”, referring to MobiliseYourCity’s SUMP Guidelines.

During the discussions, participants were asked to share which are the challenges in implementing a SUMP. Among the main obstacles, the ones underlined more often were:

  • limited awareness of what a SUMP is.
  • Doubts about where a SUMP fits jurisdictionally.
  • How to sell the project to the governments, particularly in countries where these are very strict and need regulations at different levels (like in Asia).
  • Lack of human resources and governments’ capacity to plan and implement a SUMP.

Consequently, during the second part of the morning, the focus on governance provided a strategy to address these challenges. The role of the participation process and the public transport authority in starting a SUMP were analysed, as well as the importance of setting up mobility observatories.

Elizabeth Drake spoke about urban mobility governance, stating that having a sound understanding of the SUMPs’ starting point is essential to avoid overlapping and drawbacks. At the same time, flexibility is key. No matter the plans that can be done at the beginning, SUMPs need to fit into a local situation and adapt to evolving over time.

The workshops were an excellent way for participants to end the event on a more practical note and equip them with concrete methodologies to develop and implement successful SUMPs.

This three-day event marked an important milestone for MobiliseYourCity Asia, with the renewed engagement of AFD and ADB to continue collaborating through MobiliseYourCity. The cities need the continuity and networking that MobiliseYourCity provides and the excellent opportunity to connect and animate projects central in the Partnership, as reminded by Jamie Leather (Director of the Transport Sector Office at ADB) during the closing remarks.

The event was the occasion for the community of practice to come together and learn from the many examples of cities transforming their mobility systems in favour of more sustainable ones. Participants left with a renewed commitment to lead the way to sustainable urban mobility and with certainty that MobiliseYourCity Partnership will continue equipping them with concrete resources along that path.