|GP/SP: Development of a cross-border sustainable urban mobility plan (Slovenia and Italy)|
The municipalities of Nova Gorica in Slovenia and Gorizia in Italy have developed a cross-border sustainable urban mobility plan (SUMP). The two municipalities are well placed to develop such a plan, as they had previously been part of the same town before being separated by the border agreement between Italy and the former Yugoslavia. The town had previously been home to both Italians and Slovenes, but the new border ran through the town. The free movement of people between the two municipalities was only possible again in 2007 when Slovenia signed the Schengen Agreement, of which Italy was already a signatory.
The cross-border SUMP was developed as part of the PUMAS project, which was supported by the EU’s Alpine Space Programme. The process of developing the SUMP was initiated and coordinated by the municipality of Nova Gorica. While Gorizia, in common with many other Italian towns, already had an integrated urban mobility plan, Slovenia had no tradition of developing such plans. In addition to the municipalities of Nova Gorica and Gorizia, five neighbouring Slovenian municipalities were also involved in the process.
The development of the SUMP began in the autumn of 2012 with a meeting that brought together the mayors of the seven municipalities involved, as well as representatives of the respective municipal spatial and infrastructure departments. This was the first of several such meetings that took place throughout the process. The first stage was the production of a report that analysed the state of play in relation to urban mobility in the seven municipalities. This was followed by a vision for the SUMP covering five ‘pillars’: walking, cycling, public transport, motorised traffic and transport planning.
Stakeholders were also consulted in the course of the process, including local transport operators and large generators of travel, including the hospital, university and a shopping centre. These were consulted during the drafting of the vision, including the objectives and measures. An attempt to engage citizens through a web-based survey was not that successful, as only 100 citizens replied. Public presentations of the plans were organised for citizens to coincide with European Mobility Week, which also involved a discussion of the analysis of the state of play. Reports were also made available on the municipal website for comment. Overall, face-to-face meetings proved to be a much better way of engaging with stakeholders than via email or websites.
The fact that officials and stakeholders from Gorizia spoke a different language to their Slovene counterparts made direct dialogue more difficult and meant that more time was needed for translation. However, overall the process worked well. Each participating municipality has reserved a budget to implement the agreed urban transport measures, in spite of the fact that the SUMP is not a legally binding document in either country.
PUMAS project, http://www.pumasproject.eu/