Achieving cleaner urban freight - CIVITAS Urban Freight Conference 2018

Growing cities and environmental constraints are making the management and delivery of freight in urban areas a huge challenge. Urban areas have become highly polluted and congestion is paralysing whole towns and cities. The success of e-commerce and delivery services are only likely to exacerbate these problems in the future.

Over the past three years, four CIVITAS projects CITYLAB, NOVELOG, SUCCESS and U-TURN, have been conducting research regarding the negative impacts of freight transport.  

At a joint final conference held in Brussels from 23-24 April 2018, the projects presented their results and the solutions and tools they have developed to bring about cleaner urban freight transport. Over 150 participants took part - among them were policy makers, researchers, and businesses.

The conference opened with the four coordinators presenting their respective projects and results. Following this, an EU-US exchange session saw European Commission representatives present the latest urban freight developments in Europe, whilst their American counterparts - from the US Department of Transport, the Texas A&M Transportation Institute and the City of Seattle - reported on their situation. Further collaboration and cooperation opportunities were emphasised, with particular reference to the EU-US twinning initiative.

In the day's final session, Ian Wainwright, Director at Future City Logistics, gave a keynote speech on planning for urban freight. A panel discussion involving city representatives (Rotterdam and Copenhagen), operators, and consultants (SEUR-PDP and Optilium Consulting) was held on the same topic.

The first day concluded with one of the conference highlights - the presentation of the SUCCESS Award. This went to Transport for London (TfL), the UK capital's public transport authority.

Handing over the prize, Robert Missen, Head of Unit at DG MOVE for Research and Innovation, remarked that London serves as a best practice example in fostering construction logistics improvement through its mixture of voluntary and mandatory actions.

On the second day after the initial poster session, participants took part in parallel sessions on various urban freight-related topics, including stakeholder cooperation; policy, regulations and planning; and business cases from innovative approaches.

The last plenary session saw project coordinators and key experts from the Polis City Network, the ETP-ALICE platform, the University of New York and the European Commission discussing the future of  urban logistics, key upcoming challenges, alongside possible soöutions

The conference concluded with the presentation of a series of recommendations, inspired by the two days of fruitful discussions and exchange:

  1. Urban logistics must be clearly integrated into sustainable urban mobility planning, e.g. through Sustainable Urban Logistics Plans.
  2. Stakeholder engagement solutions, such as freight quality partnerships or living labs, must be further promoted and implemented.
  3. Regulatory frameworks for logistics spaces should be further developed.
  4. Economic investment in critical areas is needed.

All presentations and posters are available here.

All videos of presentations and interviews are available here.

Find out more about the projects on their respective websites: CITYLAB, NOVELOG, SUCCESS, and U-TURN.
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