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Urban logistics and planning: anticipating urban freight generation and demand including digitalisation of urban freight

 

How urban space is being used and allocated can influence congestion, noise, road risk, air quality, GHG emissions as well as liveability. At the same time there is a gap for purpose-oriented freight data collection in cities to support their decision making towards sustainability targets such as climate neutrality, air quality, road safety reducing congestion and better use of public space.

Proposals should consider dynamic space re-allocation for the integration of urban freight at local level and the impacts of how urban space is being used as well as the optimal mix of space distribution and of land uses. Proposals should analyse the potential of strategically positioned urban (or peri-urban) spaces to develop and implement a pilot demonstration, (but without interfering with parks, trees or other recreational green areas). The aim is to reduce the impact of freight transport and logistics on the urban fabric.

Projects could consider involving real estate companies, logistics service providers, together with cities, to develop sustainable business models for open and clean hubs/consolidation spaces in cities (for example using/sharing existing private locations such as underground private parking, office buildings and other potential available spaces in cities – while respecting security constraints).

A more efficient policymaking on urban freight logistics requires cities to enhance their data collection capabilities, while private logistics or e-commerce (like food delivery) companies and services should be encouraged to share data. Potential applications are Urban Vehicle Access Regulations (UVARs), including Low Emission Zones (LEZ), smart parking and dynamic space management and better traffic planning. A vast amount of transport data from different parts of the transport system currently remains unexploited. Understanding barriers and opportunities as well as developing local capacity related to data collection within the urban and peri-urban transport system is a first step to encourage private and public organisations to share transport data. Potential benefits of the data applications need to be checked on how they could support the optimization of sustainable mobility plans (SUMPs) and sustainable logistics plans (SULPs).

A thorough evaluation should provide qualitative and quantitative information on the results of the local solutions implemented. The effectiveness of the proposed measures in achieving local policy objectives should be evaluated and the possible barriers to their broad take up and deployment identified, together with recommendations on how to overcome them. This should be accompanied by mechanisms for common lesson drawing and learning, within the project, between the projects funded under this topic and through the CIVITAS Initiative.

Proposals may include preparatory, take up and replication actions, research activities, as well as tools to support local planning and policy making. A demonstrated contribution to the implementation of the cities’ Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans is expected. If not already in place, the city can develop a Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan or other appropriate planning instrument to manage urban freight and logistics. Funding for major infrastructure works is not eligible. Proposals should plan for an active collaboration within the CIVITAS initiative.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.