SIMPLA project is at its end, but SIMPLA approach is just at its start. There is still a lot of untapped potential across Europe, and good ideas and practices need to be shared and replicated. That is the fate of SIMPLA approach and methodology.
SIMPLA coordinator Fabio Tomasi, from AREA Science Park, sums up the future perspectives of a successful project.
«SIMPLA will continue to exert a significant impact. Just think about the geographical spread of its approach. Project partners are from six different EU countries and all the municipalities involved in the implementation of the project will willingly continue to apply the concept of harmonization to their internal processes of energy and mobility plan adaptation and update. Along with them, twelve organizations from other European countries will replicate the entire process of SECAP and SUMP harmonization.
Moreover, we will continue to participate to as many events as possible, in order to further inform about and promote SIMPLA approach and methodology all over Europe. One of these events will be the upcoming Covenant of Mayors Investment Forum - Energy Efficiency Finance Market Place, on the 20th of February, in Brussels. This event is an initiative organised by the European Commission's Directorate Generals for Energy, Climate Action and EASME, the Executive Agency for Small and medium-sized Enterprises, in collaboration with the Covenant of Mayors, the world's largest movement for local climate and energy actions. We have been selected to present our concrete experience and approach, alongside other successful projects on sustainable energy planning, clean urban transport, climate adaptation and other related areas.
This represents a success for us, as we think that taking part to this kind of events, making media talk about our approach and link to our website, ultimately lead local authorities to become aware of problems they may encounter in urban planning, and also provides them with methodological references, namely SIMPLA guidelines, to cope with them.
Indeed, SIMPLA guidelines for harmonization have become a well-recognized reference in this field. Other current projects take them as an example of good procedures and methodology. To name a few, an Italian-Slovenian strategic project on SECAP, in which SIMPLA coordinator AREA Science Park and partner Friuli Venezia Giulia Region are involved, is using SIMPLA guidelines as a reference; and the new version of the European Guidelines for developing and implementing SUMPs will include SIMPLA guidelines among their attached documents. These guidelines, that will be probably available in autumn 2019, will place emphasis on the need of harmonizing SUMPs with other planning activities, and thanks to SIMPLA, they will also provide a strong methodology to reach this goal.
After three years of intense and exciting work, we are pleased of the success of our methodology. Although many barriers need more time to be torn down and still put a brake to the transformation of urban planning, the many field experiences say that the goals we have indicated to shape the energy and mobility future are reachable, and the required efforts feasible».
Harmonising SECAPs&SUMPs: It’s SIMPLA!