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RRA LUR replicates and promotes mobility practices in Western Balkans

  • 30. 11. 2022

At the 2nd regional workshop of ProSUMP project that took place in Sarajevo between November 21st and 23rd, a team of RRA LUR mobility and spatial planning experts successfully promoted regional exchange of knowledge and best practices of sustainable urban mobility planning with countries of the Western Balkans at the 2nd regional workshop.

The workshop, financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Association for International Cooperation (GIZ GmbH) – Regional Fund for SE Europe and the European Union, served very effectively for the transfer of knowledge and good practices of planning to the cities of the Western Balkans and the introduction of modern and more sustainable urban mobility. Several cities from the SEE region took an active part in the workshop, including Belgrade, Pristina, Podgorica, Sarajevo and Tirana and others, aiming to develop a concept for setting up an organizational structure for the systematic implementation of urban mobility plans.

Being selected as an example of a good practice among EU countries, RRA LUR was assigned the role of a mobility hub and the coordinator of promotional activities in the SEE region. Within the workshop RRA LUR firstly presented its practices of SUMP implementations and main challenges to be addressed in the regional mobility sector. It emphasised the need for coherent organisational structure, clear implementation processes and the need for a broader political support for implemented measures. Participants of the workshop were mostly interested to hear more about the innovative regional practices in order to gain broader political consensus among various regional mobility stakeholders.

Moderated by RRA LUR, participants were then addressed by Aljaž Plevnik, GIZ consultant for the organisational structure and SUMP measures implementation within SEE countries, presenting some of the best practices on SUMP measures with the most transferability potential in the SEE region. Following the presentation, ProSUMP partner cities discussed within groups the main challenges that are faced when implementing SUMP policies and addressed the issue of setting and measuring the main indicators for realisation of SUMP measures.

Next, RRA LUR invited SEE cities to self-observe and assess the main parameters for a successful SUMP preparation and implementation process. Working in groups, cities and regions representatives observed and presented the next elements of SUMP implementation: where did the SUMP process gain support, which is the body adopting the SUMP implementation and how is the implementation structured, while also self-assessing the monitoring and reporting processes. Results indicate that participants do not have major issues on structuring the right process for SUMP implementation, but that the process in general lacks a certain structure for reporting measures which would account for the effectiveness and relevance of the implemented measures.

The last day was dedicated to a field excursion, led by the Ministry of Traffic of Canton Sarajevo. The participants were accompanied by Emir Hota, Advisor to the Minister and Amela Šaćirbegović, expert associate for projects implementation and international programs. Professional observation was focused on the new high-speed train and measures for improving mobility in Sarajevo eg. the renovation of trolleybuses and new tramway lines, both already in process. New improvements were achieved with the implementation of Cable Car Trebević which lowered the emissions of transport in direction from Sarajevo city centre to recreational areas above the city. Participants also observed the importance of pedestrian areas within the core city centre which imposes sustainable mobility in the condense populated city.

Overall RRA LUR was perceived as an experience exchange hub for regional SUMP implementation in the SEE area and thus enabled further discussions for systematic implementation of SUMP on the regional and urban context of Western Balkans countries. Through the acquisition of new skills, the presentation of successful practices and an action plan from RRA LUR, will, at the end of the learning process, impose a draft document for the introduction of an urban mobility officer to enable local and regional administrations to confidently deal with mobility issues. The next workshop is foreseen to take place in Ljubljana in March 2023.