17 December 2019

A victory for Budapest: putting citizens first in sustainable urban mobility planning

ICLEI Member Budapest (Hungary) recently announced the adoption of its first Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) after a long process to revamp its transport system to put residents first.

The City of Budapest established the BKK Centre for Budapest Transport in 2011 to address the cities' most important mobility challenges. Main hurdles addressed were: overcoming the deterioration of transport infrastructure and assets, inadequate network coverage, lack of integration of mobility developments into a holistic system, as well as outdated regulations.

One of BKK's tasks was to begin developing the City's first SUMP-based transport strategy. The first part of the Budapest Mobility Plan (BMT) – which focuses on the plan's objectives and measures – was published for public discussion in 2014 and approved by the City's General Assembly the same year.

Extensive institutional and public consultation followed. The collected comments and suggestions were then integrated into the final version of part one of the plan, which was formally approved in 2015.

The next step in the process was to work out the, "Programme of Transport Development and Investments." This began with, and was influenced by, the evaluation of existing mobility projects. Over three years, more than 170 transport projects were analysed and given detailed appraisals based on SUMP methodology. The projects were ranked on various aspects (e.g. cost-benefit, feasibility, environmental impact, etc.) and, following the assessment, three future scenarios were forecasted. All results were accompanied by a detailed account of the applied methodology, results of the analyses, the final proposed project package, as well as suggestions for new project ideas to effectively cover the whole spectrum of defined goals.

The completed SUMP was ultimately approved by the General Assembly on 29 May 2019.

The BMT's state-of-the-art approach put city-dwellers and their urban environment at the forefront. Transport in Budapest now includes a monitoring system, consisting of appropriate indicators, to ensure that the defined objectives are reached and the approved measures go according to plan.

The essence of Budapest’s SUMP may be summarised by the following three terms: integration, efficiency, and quality. The SUMP aims to help the city achieve a more lively and liveable future.

The City of Budapest is part of the SMARTEES project, in the “holistic, shared and persistent mobility plan” cluster, within which the project seeks to assess and highlight the participatory development and adoption of such plans.

For more information on SMARTEES, click here.