The SUMP for Metropolitan Thessaloniki: A Multidimensional Endeavour of Participative Planning

The SUMP for Metropolitan Thessaloniki: A Multidimensional Endeavour of Participative Planning


Manos Vougioukas, ThePTA External Expert, Kostas N. Petrakis, ThePTA External Expert, Polykarpos Karkavitsas, ThePTA In-house Expert


The abstract highlights a multidimensional planning process aiming at a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan for the metropolitan area of Thesslaoniki


Thessaloniki is a metropolitan agglomeration of 1 mio inhabitants, incorporating 9 municipal authorities operating within a complex administrative context involving central and regional government authorities and agencies. Transport / mobility is an even more complex environment in which, apart from the abovementioned stakeholders, operate private agencies, such as OASTh, the metropolitan transport operator.
ThePTA (the Thessaloniki Public Transport Authority) is a public agency whose main role is to supervise OASTh and coordinate public transport planning in the metropolitan area. The Executive Board of ThePTA includes high-level representatives of all transport-related stakeholders operating in Thessaloniki.
Based on its involvement in the ATTAC project (South-East Europe Programme), ThePTA has undertaken the elaboration and promotion of the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) for the Metropolitan Thessaloniki. The SUMP, first of its kind in Greece, is prepared following the guidelines of the ELTISPlus project, which is adopted by the European Commission as the European standard for this kind of plan.
The plan is prepared by a small team of experts, both in-house and external, who collaborate with their colleagues in related agencies, authorities and institutions, following a step-by-step concertation process whose main decision-making body is the Mobility Forum.
The Mobility Forum comprises representatives of all the ThePTA Executive Board members, in addition to academic, professional and user-oriented stakeholders (such as the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Hellenic Institute of Transport Engineers, the Pedestrians’ Federation and so forth). The Forum is convened at regular intervals (4-6 months) depending on the progress of the SUMP. In each meeting of the Mobility Forum, the ThePTA experts present the current state of the plan, discuss the details with the Forum members and seek for interim adoption. Such a procedure has allowed an efficient in-depth dialogue and has resulted in a widely accepted plan for the first time in the planning chronicles of the city, not to mention the country.
The main features of the Thessaloniki SUMP are presented below:
 The Thessaloniki SUMP is strategic by nature.
 It is based on a vision for urban mobility commonly elaborated and adopted by all the participants of the Mobility Forum (another local achievement).
 It involves 4 scenarios (from the ‘do-nothing-alternative’ to the ‘UITP PT*2 alternative’) related to the possible evolution of the current conjuncture and its impact on urban mobility and urban development.
 The plan has concrete S.M.A.R.T. objectives
by 2016 by 2020
Total PT ridership +15% +50%
Average PT occupancy +10% +25%
Average PT commercial speed +10% 25%
Off- and on- street parking supply -10% -30%
Walking share in modal split +10% +25%
Cycling share in modal split +10% +15%
Decrease of pollutant emissions (SO2, O3, CO, NO2, PM10) -10% -25%
 It integrates all the on-going urban transport projects with new initiatives born within the planning process. The SUMP comprises 12 highly synergetic measures overall:
1. Integrated and Smart Electronic Fare Ticket System
2. Bus Rapid Transit, bus priority at traffic lights
3. Information and Awareness campaigns to discourage private cars and promote Public Transport
4. Tramway system, incorporating new ways of financing and accompanying urban regeneration facilities
5. Measures to enhance Intermodality between Metro-Tram-Bus such as the creation of interchanges and restructuring of bus stops
6. Maritime Public Transport System in the Thermaikos Gulf
7. Flexible Transit Systems in peri-urban areas
8. Integrated Parking Policy (Park and Ride, controlled parking system)
9. Pedestrian facilities and public space restructuring
10. Bike lane network
11. Bike Sharing System
12. Congestion charging and access control.
 The concertation with all stakeholders concerned ensures that the measures proposed are sustainable from the economic, social and environmental viewpoints. More precisely:
• [Economic] All measures proposed are economically feasible and viable; the share of public financing is ensured by including the measures in the 2014-2020 Partnership Agreement (P.A.), while the private domain share is ensured by proposing only measures approved by the private sector representatives.
• [Social] All measures aim at enhancing social cohesion, which is currently in serious turbulence; their social acceptance is ensured through the extensive and systematic concertation together with extensive media coverage.
• [Environmental] All measures aim at reducing private motorised traffic and mobility, resulting in a positive carbon footprint to all projects candidate for the 2014-2020 P.A. (national legal requirement).
 Based on the 12 measures adopted, the 9 Municipalities of the metropolitan area are committed to prepare their local operational SUMP's. ThePTA created a SUMP Unit that will support them in the forthcoming operational phase.


Association for European Transport