SUMBA: Enhance environmentally friendly transport systems in urban areas based on increased capacity of urban transport actors

Summary of the project

Suburban-city commuter mobility in BSR cities is dominated by an individual car-based mobility. This is often due to weak and highly subsidised public transport with usage barriers like different providers, poorly synchronised timetables, a lack of integration of other modes (combination of bike and bus/train) or comprehensive fare schemes. Alternatives to one’s own car do not attract enough commuters yet. Although being able to foster intermodal mobility, new mobility options like bike- and car-sharing are not yet fully integrated into mobility concepts, and the links between different transport modes are weak.

SUMBA will demonstrate how to effectively change suburb-city commuting towards more sustainable and inter-modal patterns in 10 pilot regions. The project will primarily address urban and transport planners and increase their knowledge and skills on how to assess, plan, improve and integrate suburban-city commuter mobility into transport plans and policies.

SUMBA will operate in three steps: develop tools and guidance documents helping to realise this objective, test them in our pilot regions, and spread the results in the BSR region. As main outputs, we will develop a number tools which allow us to approach the issue with joint methodology: benchmarking scheme which helps cities to assess their situation with regard to commuting and intermodality; a SWOT analysis to detect strengths, weaknesses and chances; guidelines on how to approach transport modelling and data collection; and a collection of good solutions. Finally, the commuting master plan template integrates all these aspects and provides a blueprint to cities which helps them to draft a strategic, comprehensive document that addresses all crucial issues regarding suburban-city commuter mobility.

In SUMBA we will jointly test these tools in our pilot regions. Our pilot regions will analyse their situation with the benchmarking tool and the SWOT analysis, collect data and choose suitable tools to plan or model their transport system. Based on the finding of these activities, commuting master plans and4accompanying action plans will be developed in the pilot regions in a participatory way. Results of this process will be summarised in a publication and presented in the projects’ final conference.


The project consortium aims at wide dissemination of the project tools to urban and transport planners in BSR cities. The consortium, consisting of 12 partners and 37 associate partners, will have a wide and well-connected network to ensure that the results are spread and that the main outputs are used in the daily work practice of our target group. A successful dissemination of the project’s results will contribute to make mobility more sustainable in the Baltic Sea Region and ultimately to efforts of reducing GHG emissions from the transport sector – an important step to turning the Baltic Sea Region into a low-carbon region.Summary of the partnershipAs the composition of the partnership and geographic coverage was evaluated positively in the concept note, we kept the structure with some refinements. We limited the number of partners to perform effective project and financial management, but we increased the number of associated partners. We were able to attract many stakeholders and get their commitments to participate in the project.

The consortium will consist of 12 partners – 7 local authorities (municipalities), one regional authority (county), 3 CSOs and one research institute, joined by 36 associate partners. The authorities will demonstrate how the solutions developed in this project will work out in practice in their functional urban areas. The project acts in 10 locations from almost all countries around the Baltic Sea: Hamburg (DE), Tartu (EE), Harju County and Tallinn (EE), Riga (LV), Växjö (SE), Olsztyn (PL), Siauliai (LT), Warsaw Region with Piaseczno, Legionowo, Mińsk Mazowiecki and Otwock (PL), Gdynia (PL) and Helsinki (FI). The partners will play the key role in the project, but also some associated partners will be very actively involved. Helsinki, Gdynia and 4 suburban cities in Warsaw Region will implement parts of the project without benefitting from the ERDF funds. The associate municipality Słupsk (PL) will have an observer status. All of these locations have an interest in decreasing their commuting burden. They have undertaken various initiatives in the field of sustainable mobility, e.g. bike sharing (Riga, Hamburg), SUMPs (most partners), expansion PT (metro/local trains Helsinki, tram Olsztyn, planned PT extensions in Tallinn/Hamburg), or new approaches to ticketing (Hamburg, Tallinn).The involved CSOs (partners and associates) have experience from previous projects on sustainable mobility including projects on SUMPs, e-mobility, promotion of cycling, or experience on participation processes. The CSOs will contribute to questions of governance, good practice examples, SWOT analyses and benchmarking, moderate the processes involving several stakeholders and act as multiplier organisations.The research institute DLR has many years of experience in scientific and applied transport research. They will contribute with expert knowledge in modelling and state-of-the-art solutions in intermodal transport planning. Although located in Germany their role is trans-national: they will lead the methodological WP2 on transport modelling and support all partners in their work with data & information on transport flows and in that way create the common methodological approach of the project.The private sector, in our case mobility providers, will be involved through associated partnerships. They play an important role in changing commuting patterns but are not the primary target group.The consortium has the necessary background, qualification and ambition to implement the project. The proposal was developed jointly, reflecting all partners’ expertise, ideas and proposals.

Project duration

September2017 - August 2020

Sustainable mobility


Matthias Grätz
Project manager
Tel.: 040/5330 7076

Project duration

09/2017 – 08/2020


The project is financed by the European Union