Transport masterplan wins first ever EU SUMP award
Aberdeen City Council has won the first ever European Commission Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Award for its work on a transport masterplan for the city centre.
Deputy Provost John Reynolds and senior transport strategy planner Louise Napier received the award from European Commission vice-president Siim Kallas at a ceremony in Brussels.
The award brings with it a 10,000 prize to support local awareness-raising activities on sustainable urban mobility.
Aberdeen's Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) was one of only three out of 29 entries from 12 countries to reach the finals of the European Commission Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan Awards which recognise cities and regions which show excellence in developing and implementing their sustainable urban mobility plans.
Mr Kallas said: "Aberdeen and the other finalists are at the forefront of an EU-wide drive to incorporate sustainability into urban mobility planning. The urban mobility plans devised by cities and local authorities today are crucial to boosting efficiency and competitiveness. In line with the 2012 theme, the finalists boast a strong role for citizens a key factor in long-term urban planning success."
Depute Provost Reynolds said: "The jury was impressed by the level of public engagement Aberdeen City Council undertook in drawing up the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, particularly the innovative use of social media, which was a first for the team.
"I am delighted that Aberdeen City Council is the first to win this prestigious award, particularly when we were up against such stiff competition from the Municipality of Ljutomer and the Public Transport Authority of the Greater Toulouse, where SUMPs have already been adopted. Our SUMP will be integral to regenerating the city centre and improving access into and around the area."
Aberdeen's SUMP, which is in the preparation stages, is designed to enhance and further develop the transport themes in the City Centre Development Framework; provide a guide to how transport connections will develop over the next 25 years; and achieve regeneration of the city centre. It contributes to delivery of the Smarter Mobility aims of the Aberdeen The Smarter City.
Council officers have been working alongside Nestrans and Robert Gordon University to draw up the SUMP, which focuses on the six main routes into the city, as well as the city centre.
Dr Margaret Bochel, Aberdeen City Council's head of planning and sustainable development, said: "We're delighted that the hard work of the team and their commitment to engaging with communities and others to get a positive outcome for the city has been recognised."
One of the key aspects in drawing up the SUMP has been to gather public opinion on what works well, what does not work well, and possible solutions to improve the city centre, focussing on the various transport options and general environment.
The awards jury stated: "Aberdeen shows an outstanding participatory approach on how to involve stakeholders and citizens in this process. Aberdeen clearly demonstrates that it deploys all possible tools to connect with stakeholders and citizens. Working with online and paper surveys, publications, web pages, etc. it offers an outstanding package of channels. Its successful use of social media demonstrates the council's ambition for innovation and connecting to citizens. Good response rates from citizens prove the appropriate application of the chosen tools."
The aims of Aberdeen's SUMP, which will be produced in the autumn, include:
Creating a city centre which is easy to move around, with improved connections across the area;
Ensuring the transport system is accessible to all;
Improving safety and security of travellers;
Reducing air and noise pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption;
Increasing walking and cycling opportunities in the city centre;
Improving public transport and provide tourism pick up and drop off points at appropriate locations
Improving efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the transportation of people and goods;
Enhancing the attractiveness and quality of the urban environment.
For more information about the award and the finalists visit http://dotherightmix.eu/