SUMPs IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC
Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans are being developed in the Czech Republic as everywhere throughout Europe. Although formally fine and being approved on a regular basis, their original meaning has been misunderstood. This is also the reason why the impacts of SUMPs on everyday life are minimal in Czech towns and cities.
Although the concept of SUMP originally seemed to be a great promise, soon turned out to a great misunderstanding because the Czech planners and local authorities put strong emphasis on an analytical phase, on preparation steps and defining of goals, while the question of fact, the substantive part of the plans, remains suppressed. If our aim is to approximate the way of approaching urban mobility plans in the Czech Republic to developed European countries, we need more than to provide information, we need to change public viewing of transportation.
The SUMP development is based on demographic conditions, on national legislation, funding options, exchange of experience, and the awareness level concerning urban mobility and related problems. Understanding purpose is a key precondition to further success. Existing plans often fail to meet minimum quality standards due to a lack of understanding for the concept.
And what is the most common reason for developing SUMPs? "We need it to get European subsidies." No wonder we often hear questions like "What actually the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan is?" or "Does anyone take it seriously in this country?".
We really need to concentrate our efforts on the future. At present, there are severel towns and cities in the Czech Republic that are working on their own SUMPs. With a few exceptions, these towns have less than 50.000 inhabitants, yet pressurized to go through the whole SUMP process in accordance with current methodology applied in the Czech Republic (which is based on the European one).