Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan: creating a more accessible Malmö

Topic EqualityAccessibilitySustainabilityProcessesPublic TransportPrivate TransportShared MobilityDevelopmentPolicy DocumentGuideline


  • Location: Malmö, south of Sweden, Scandinavia
  • Year: 2016
  • Initiator: The city of Malmö


The city of Malmö has recently deployed its Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, which takes a holistic approach on the link between urban development and sustainable transport based on economic, social and environmental sustainability. The plan is a good example of how a municipality can integrate different perspectives, such as gender equality and accessibility, into traffic planning. The plan aims at creating a city and a transport system that more people, regardless of age, gender and socio-economic background, have access to. A vision for the future Malmö is formulated: “walking, cycling and public transport are the first choice for all who work, live or visit in Malmö. These travel choices, together with efficient and environmentally friendly freight and car traffic, are the basis of the transport system in our dense and sustainable city – a transport system designed for the city, and for its people.” [1]


In the plan, different targets and ongoing and future work in relation to gender equality and accessibility are described. An example of ongoing work is to increase and spread knowledge on the link between gender equality and traffic. Building on this work, next step is outlined as defining an equal traffic system for Malmö, which includes measurable targets and indicators.

Extracts from the plan that indicate how gender equality and equality are described:

  • “Socioeconomic conditions, mainly income, is one of many factors that influence how much and in what way people travel. The higher the income per household, the more trips per day are carried out, and the more of these trips are carried out by car. Good accessibility for Malmös’ inhabitants is desirable, and in order to create this, measures targeting walking, cycling and public transport are an important strategy”. [1, pp. 19]
  • “In 2020, Malmö should be a city with equal activities reaching to all women and men, girls and boys, regardless of background and belonging. Design, function and use of the traffic system and urban development should give everyone fundamental access to their city”. [1, pp. 20]

The plan won the 4th Sump Award, a price that is part of the European Mobility Week (EMW) that is funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Mobility and Transport. The price is intended for local authorities that have developed a mobility plan that satisfies the diverse transport needs of people and businesses, whilst improving quality of life.


[1] The city of Malmö (2016) Sustainable urban mobility plan. Creating a more accessible Malmö


Interview with Andreas Nordin

Project leader, city of Malmö

Why have you been successful in the area of gender and transport?

We started early the discussion on gender and transport. Small measures raising awareness within the department have put the topic on the agenda. This has had effects on decision makers and civil servants.

What were the main challenges in implementing the SUMP plan?

Keeping the momentum after developing and adopting the SUMP. When the plan was adopted, a milestone was reached and only then the focus shifted to implementation. In retrospect we had too much focus on preparing the plan and not enough focus on how the implementation should be realized. This resulted in a sluggish start of the implementation period.

What further activities in this area would be desirable in the future?

I find the relation between perceived effect, planned effect and actual measured effect to be interesting. Studying and quantifying effects of inclusive equality in city planning could be developed. I also believe we would benefit from developing the measures that are comparable between different cities.

Do you have any recommendations for your European colleagues?

  • Plan ahead. Even if you have a big complex process running you should have someone thinking about the next phase. For example: Will the steering committee for the implementation be the same as for the plan? How will implementation work, who will enforce and coordinate it?
  • Measure your progress. This is important to be able to show progression and learn from efforts made.
  • Try to make the planning accessible for everyone. People can more easily contribute if the plan, its challenges and its reasoning are easy to grasp.

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