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SUMP-PLUS - Planning for Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility in smaller cities - 3rd Platanias Mobility Forum

The 3rd Mobility Forum, engaging all relevant stakeholder to open dialogue and consultation for the development of the strategic sustainable mobility plan for residents and visitors of Platanias Municipality, was successfully carried out.  The virtual meeting was organized by the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab of the School of the Technical University of Crete (ReSEL TUC) and the Municipality of Platanias. It was attended by representatives from the stakeholders’ groups: Region of Crete, Public Transport Operator – KTEL, Business Association of Platanias (Iardanos), Traffic Police Department of Chania, Police Department of Platanias, Chania Hotels Association, Rental Accommodations Union of Chania, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Chania, Association of People with Disabilities of Chania, Association of Rental Cars Owners, Taxi Union of Chania, and Municipal Councilors of Platanias.


Mr. Ioannis Malandrakis, Mayor of Platanias, kicked off the meeting’s works, explaining how the results and tools developed in the frame of SUMP-PLUS are used in the development of the Platanias SUMP. Professor Mr. Theoharis Tsoutsos noted that Platanias' participation in the SUMP-PLUS research project, provides the city with innovative planning tools and processes developed by the ReSEL TUC team and European research partners and showcases it as an innovative, model Mediterranean Municipality in matters of sustainable mobility planning for small cities. The Vice- Governor of Chania Regional Unit, Mr. Nikos Kalogeris, expressed the belief that, through this cooperation, the Region of Crete, the Technical University of Crete and the Municipality of Platanias will have the opportunity to plan future projects and improve mobility in the region.

ReSEL TUC’s research team (Stavroula Tournaki, Maria Frangou, Georgia Skiniti) presented the innovative analytical tools and co-creation processes for sustainable mobility planning which have been developed and implemented in Platanias. Specifically, targeted co-creation engagement instruments were implemented for the first time, with the participation of relevant stakeholders - emphasizing cross-sectoral cooperation with tourism - and the public, both residents and visitors of the Municipality, including the disabled community. The results of the research activity will be presented at the final project conference in Brussels.

Tailored surveys, developed by ReSEL TUC, to record mobility habits and opinions of residents, tourists/visitors, and Public Transport users, with representative samples of 394, 310, and 239 people respectively, helped to analyze the current mobility situation in the Municipality of Platanias. Also, results from smart mobility monitoring systems that were installed by ReSEL TUC in key locations in the Old National Road, were presented. The systems recorded the traffic load, both in winter and summer periods (24/7), highlighting with real measurements the effect of tourism seasonality, and the issue of road safety due to frequent violation of speed limits.

Finally, selected scenarios for priority sustainable mobility measures for Platanias were presented, which were assessed using the Space Syntax’s simplified analytical toolbox, the development of which was based on Platanias as a pilot case study and was made with data input from the City Lab team (ReSEL TUC,  Municipality of Platanias). The scenarios include - among others - the creation of a bypass road as a measure to reduce traffic congestion in the Old National Road during the summer months, traffic calming strategies in the Old National Road to improve road safety and create an attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists, improvements to pedestrian crossings, road width reduction-widening of sidewalks, the operation of a transit bus station, the creation of a network of cycling and walking routes to better connect points of social interest and tourist destinations.

Platanias Municipality team presented existing measures and initiatives for sustainable mobility in the Municipality of Platanias, such as a shared electric bicycles system, the undergrounding of cables with simultaneous widening of sidewalks in the community of Platanias, the Operational Plan to ensure public spaces, the installation of smart signage for speed control, the installation of new municipal lighting in the coastal area of Pyrgos Psilonerou - Maleme for which it was honored with a Silver award at the Best City Awards 2023, etc.


Participating stakeholders, through the discussion that followed, as well as through interactive methods of participation (online polls), expressed their expectation and active support in solving the persistent mobility problems faced in Platanias especially in the summer months. At the same time, they highlighted points of attention, such as provisions for disabled accessibility, necessary traffic calming and road safety interventions in the Old National Road and ways of dealing with possible institutional restrictions, design options for the bypass road to decongest the center, strengthening of the role of Public Transport, links with urban planning and the need for a holistic approach, while issues of improving logistics transport were also discussed.

Closing the meeting, Prof Theocharis Tsoutsos referred to the next steps for the efficient application of the innovative methods and tools and their integration to the development planning of the Municipality, and the Mayor Mr. Malandrakis informed about the timeline for the completion of the 1st SUMP and thanked stakeholders for their active participation in the co-creation processes.

Find out more about SUMP-PLUS