Urban Freight Solutions into SUMP
Although Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has already developed a SUMP (2009-2012), there is a need to analyse urban freight solutions in the city. Thanks to CIVITAS DESTINATIONS, a Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan (SULP) is being developed and is to be integrated into the existing SUMP.
Implementing sustainable mobility
Cities experience the high impact and consequently high direct and external costs of urban freight operations. These are due to pollutant emissions, noise, vibrations and safety hazards among others. Moreover, the rise of freight related activities and the growing intensity of urban freight movements can be a source of competition for the usage of scarce urban land and of conflicts between freight and non-freight stakeholders. Therefore, it is necessary to improve local regulations in order to deal with the new challenges of urban freight.
These are also current issues in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Despite a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP) approved in 2012, there are still some important barriers to reach a sustainable mobility in the city. One of them is that urban freight is not properly addressed in the SUMP.
To come up with a solution, the local partners of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria decided to draft a Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan (SULP) and to integrate it into the SUMP.
How will this be achieved:
To draft the local SULP, Cinesi SLU followed the guidelines defined by the EU-funded project ENCLOSE:
Analysis of the socio-economic aspects
The process starts with an analysis of the socio-economic aspects of the city and its influence on tourism, traffic and freight. In the case of Las Palmas, this has been done for both the whole island and the study area (which is the whole city) and the results of this diagnostic phase are presented below.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria had a population of 378.998 in 2016, and the overall population of the metropolitan area was of 600.000 inhabitants. The geographical conditions that characterise Las Palmas divide the city in two areas: the lower one (completely flat and where the most inhabited neighbourhoods are found) and the upper zone (which surrounds the lower zone and has slopes and an irregular distribution of streets and buildings). This complex territory led to an irregular development of the road network and to some accessibility restrictions for pedestrians, cyclists and handicapped people.
As for tourism, it has a huge impact in logistics operations in all touristic hotspots. Therefore, it is also important to identify seasonal variations in order to assess properly urban freight management at these sites. However, the case of Las Palmas is slightly different because there are no seasonal peaks regarding tourism.
Examination of policies and the regulatory framework
Afterwards, in second place, policies and regulation framework in the city have to be analysed, especially those that affect logistics. The SULP will have to be embedded in a wider local and regional planning framework on urban mobility.
Regarding the freight and logistics regulation in Las Palmas, the city has continuously enlarged the traffic calming zones in the city by implementing zones 30 (with 30km/h speed limits), living streets / shared spaces and pedestrian zones. The neighbourhoods with living streets and pedestrian zones foresee specific access and parking regulations for commercial vehicles (time windows, typology of vehicles, loading / unloading parking lots, etc.).
The road traffic regulations of the city of Las Palmas also apply for urban freight and they set restrictions for heavy commercial vehicles circulation. Moreover, the road traffic regulations also define time windows for the loading / unloading operations.
Characterisation of logistics flows
Thirdly, main logistics flows have to be characterized. On the one hand, for the characterisation of the study area, the most important freight and logistic infrastructures of the city have to be identified. In Las Palmas, those are the several industrial parks and the Port.
On the other hand, the logistics flows in the region should be analysed separately according to its origin-destination features. In the case of Las Palmas, the first group are the logistics flows with no origin / destination in the island (they are quite important for the economy but they have limited impact in terms of mobility in the island). The second group are the logistics flows with origin / destination in the island, and most of these are connections with the Iberian Peninsula and other European countries.
However, if limited data on freight movement patterns across the city are available, it is possible to identify the main logistics flows across the city thanks to the interviews with key local stakeholders.
The most important logistics flows are often related to: tourism, HORECA and urban retail, shopping malls food Markets and industrial parks.
Identification of stakeholders
Finally, the main stakeholders and user groups regarding freight transport and last mile distribution had to be identified in order to achieve a productive and open dialogue and to know their needs and requirements. The main groups are:
- Urban freight companies: their needs are delivery optimisation, real time traffic information and real time information about on-street loading / unloading bays availability, among many others.
- Citizens: their main needs are enhanced street attractiveness, on-time deliveries and less greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution.
- Shopkeepers (retail, HORECA, etc.): despite the fact that these kinds of local organisations are generally not interested in freight and delivery issues, they may greatly benefit from improved policies.
- Port Authority representatives and Industrial Park representatives.
- Freight transport companies’ association: in Las Palmas, they requested their associates to fill in a questionnaire to get information about qualitative and quantitative topics related to freight transport in the island. The questionnaire was focused on assessing qualitative and quantitative aspects, and the information gathered helped to identify the needs and goals of the different target groups and stakeholders.
The expected results after the implementation of the SULP are the following:
- Integrated logistics operations within the overall urban mobility system.
- Improved efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the transportation of goods (e.g. increase load factor, decrease the number of trips, less mileage, less delays, empty runs reductions, etc.).
- Enhanced local economic development by promoting new business opportunities.
- Better urban environment and better living conditions (city attractiveness, etc.).
- Improved city access regulations
The SULP has already been drafted (summer 2019).