In November 2017, project partners met in Hamburg to give a kick-off to the SUMBA project.
Participants were greeted by the public authorities from Altona City Council: Mr. Johannes Gerdelmann and Ms. Liane Melzer. Mr. Gerdelmann gave an overview of the Hamburg-Altona history and stressed how the borough of Altona is growing continuously. As a result, commuters suffer from the direct consequences, such as spending long time in the traffic, which is a great environmental and public health problem. To solve this, Altona encourages a number of initiatives such as car sharing systems, among others. Finding and developing smart and innovative mobility solutions as one of the important topic of commuting was highlighted as being relevant for the SUMBA. Ms. Melzer encouraged the partners to elaborate concrete sustainable urban mobility and commuting solutions in a combined and convenient approach.
Afterwards, Mr. Thomas Jacob from the Senate Chancellery, and Ms. Nicoleta Vintila, from Altona Bourough Office, welcomed the project initiative. Mr. Jacob stressed that commuters, day to day business, and transportation companies have the same needs. Therefore, it was stressed to cooperate all together in this burning issue. Ms. Vintila introduced four different transport and mobility projects in Altona: cycling routes programme “Velorouten Hamburg”, “Magistralen” for providing enough and affordable housing, conversion of railway area for new quarters “Mitte Altona” and “Holsten Areal” where another EU project “Cities4people” is also involved, and cover over Highway A7 for which constructions will start by the end of 2019.
Mr. Rostislav Zatloukal, from the INTERREG Managing Authority/Joint Secretariat, also gave a speech. He gave an overview of the importance and value of the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme and stressed the relevance of partnership. Not only the importance of work and cooperate all together, but also with other INTERREG projects.
Besides defining the base elements for the project and planning project activities, SUMBA partners had a chance to visit the control center of Hamburg Hochbahn and have a trip with an e-bus.