Regional Workshop in Belgrade Promotes Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans in the Western Balkans

BELGRADE – To enhance sustainable urban mobility practices in the Western Balkans and Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH within the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe: Energy, Transport, and Climate Protection (ORF-ETC) and the Transport Community organised a joint regional workshop “Sustainable Urban Mobility in the Western Balkans”. The workshop took place in Belgrade, Serbia, from 18 to 20 October and gathered over sixty participants.

Addressing the participants, Transport Community Director, Mr Matej Zakonjšek, underlined the the urgency of addressing transport greenhouse gas emissions, which are projected to double by 2050 in the Western Balkans, and the need to align national transport strategies with sustainability goals.

“Sustainable mobility is not only essential for reducing pollution and congestion but also for fostering a healthier, eco-friendly environment and economic vitality. It emphasises the significance of harmonious urban and national planning for vibrant and sustainable communities,” underlined Mr Zakonjšek.

During the three-day event, representatives from South-East European municipalities and associations of cities and municipalites, government officials, and observers from Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine discussed and shared knowledge and best practices on Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs) and National Urban Mobility Policies (NUMPs).

Program Component Manager, Ms Milenka Knežević, presented the status of the ProSUMP transport subproject of the ORF ETC and emphasised the crucial importance of well-established organisational structures and job descriptions within the municipalities and cities that will enable systematic annual planning, implementation, monitoring, and reporting of measures from SUMPs.

During the workshop, participants had an opportunity to hear examples of good practices from the Urban Planning Institute Slovenia, and the Regional Development Agency of Ljubljana Urban Region based on their experience with the development of the national Integrated Transport Law which includes the National Urban Mobility Plan and obligatory SUMPs.

The workshop strengthened the capabilities of municipal associations in advising local governments on SUMP development and implementation. Furthermore, it provided practical support to selected local self-governments, enabling them to build the organisational and technical capacities necessary for successful SUMP execution.

The event also included discussions on topics such as integrated transport planning, urban mobility, and improving connections between urban nodes and the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The Transport Community played a crucial role in facilitating discussions on the topics.

The workshop was organised in cooperation of GIZ and the Transport Community with the City of Belgrade, and Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS), a joint initiative of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.