Graz strategy plan 

The SOLEZ Action Plan “Intelligente Lösungen zur Förderung schadstoffarmer Mobilitätspolitik in der Stadtregion Graz” for the functional urban area (FUA) of Graz has been elaborated following a common approach defined at consortium level during the first project phase. This provided a model with a simplified approach to SUMP EU guidelines that made it possible to local administrators of small and medium size municipalities, to implement the concept of sustainable urban mobility planning at functional urban area level. For the FUA of Graz, a local working group on Environmental Issues/Sub-Working Group for Mobility Measures has been set up in 2016. Its main political directive was to investigate on congestion charging and car free days.

The SOLEZ Action Plan for Graz FUA was elaborated in exchange with this Working Group. Our participatory approach to develop the Action Plan consisted of 4 stakeholder meetings, in order to identify the main needs and opportunities of considered territories, and to really involve the different interested parties in a common planning process. The Action Plan was elaborated by defining a baseline scenario in terms goals and challenges, and existing mobility plans and strategies on a local, regional and national level. Based on this, a set of concrete sustainable mobility measures for Graz FUA has been identified and summarized in the report SOLEZ Action Plan for FUA Graz.

Expected impact and benefits of the strategy

The SOLEZ Action Plan for Graz FUA will contribute to identify, and agree with key stakeholders and other interested parties, a set of concrete actions that can contribute to improve sustainable mobility and transport in Graz and its functional urban area in the next five years.
The actions outlined are the results of a governance process, initiated by the City of Graz / EU-Programmes and International Cooperation Unit in accordance with the department for traffic and transport planning.
It is because of such a holistic approach of governance that the acceptance of proposed actions is high and that all involved departments and other important stakeholders do have a feeling of ownership. 

Lessons learned 

The most important learning from the development process of the SOLEZ Action Plan shows that such a governance process has to take into consideration the reality of the political discourse on the local and regional level and must respect all needs and challenges of the relevant stakeholders. Therefore, it can be very challenging to bring in line project deliverables and deadlines with governance processes taking place in a given functional urban area which takes part in such a project consortium. The transnational project meetings, study visits and peer to peer learning opportunities provided both opportunities to reflect and strategically plan the implementation of concrete actions and pilot activities and also to provide stakeholders on local and regional level with best practices and learnings from other functional urban areas in Europe. Thereby, the SOLEZ project could contribute a lot for the development of low-carbon policies in the mobility planning.