CIVITAS Peer To Peer Workshop – Green logistics in Donostia-San Sebastian

CIVITAS Peer To Peer Workshop – Green logistics in Donostia-San Sebastian: decarbonising deliveries in urban areas

15th October 2015

Urban Freight Logistics is playing a key role within our cities for being a vital part of the economic sector and for its relevant impacts in terms of livability of urban areas:

  • it has a relevant role in determining the level of competitiveness both for production and retail side;
  • it helps increasing level of employment and generates revenues;
  • it is itself an important economy activity within the service sector (third sector).

It is well-know how logistics activities is still performed in contrast with sustainability: deliveries are mainly performed by road vehicles, most of time with low load factor and driving for inefficient routes. Needless to say all these inefficiencies are impacting negatively on the urban environment in terms of increased congestion, pollutant emissions levels and energy consumption.

Though freight vehicles represent from 10% to 12% of all vehicles in a city, according to some estimations they count for 20%-30% in terms of pollutant emissions related to transport within the urban environment.

The main challenge for municipalities is therefore to set up measures with the aim to reduce the trade-off in terms of:

  • providing an efficient freight distribution system;
  • restricting circulation of freight vehicles in order to limit negative impacts.

The Cycle-logistic project aims to explore and test alternative and sustainable solutions for the last mile of in urban areas. The CIVITAS initiative has indeed contributed in the organization of the European Cycle Logistics Conference hosted in Donostia –San Sebastian in 2015 focusing on urban contexts.

A Peer to Peer Workshop was organized on the 15th October 2015 during Day 1 of the conference with more than 100 professionals from public administrations and private companies from 15 different countries.

The 12 speakers contributed to:

  • setting the scene
  • providing the Municipalities’ point of view
  • providing the logistics companies approach
  • promoting cycle logistics as a possible solution


Prof. Dr Cathy Macharis gave an overview on the challenge that city distribution is facing in terms of sustainability. She pointed out the 4A’s approach: Awareness, Avoidance, Act and Shift, Anticipation. But only with ‘Actors involvement’ implemented measures will be successful.


Michael Cramer stated that cycling will have a key role in in reducing pollution and congestion and he stated that transport planners need to consider the use of cycle delivery requirements in urban areas.


Madeleine Kelly-Tychtl presented an overview of cycling and urban logistics in the context of urban mobility policy. EC initiative promoting cycling with special focus on road safety, health, regional policies, environment and tourism  are also presented together with funding opportunities.


Fermin Echarte presented how the Municipality of Donostia-San Sebastian is facing road congestion and pollution in the city by promoting sustainable urban mobility policies in favour of non-motorized transport modes. He also presented how the city manages urban deliveries in the Old Town.


Julius Menge with his presentation he reported about strategies and approaches for municipalities to support greener and more compatible deliveries. In fact, regardless some differences (urban, economic and demographic structure) European cities are facing a common challenge: urban freight transport and last mile deliveries.


Malin Mansson in her presentation she focussed on the measures that the City of Gothenburg implemented in order to improve and increase accessibility for urban freight while improving local environment (noise, safety, air pollution, attractiveness). She pointed out the strategy behind the City Delivery Concept-”Stadsleveransen”.


Wolfgang Sacher presented the strategies of a private company in order to implement Electro Cargo Bikes into last mile deliveries. He also presented the setting up of the first Micro Hub in Berlin.


MilnaJanjevic presented some examples of Urban Consolidation Centres which aims to rationalise the last mile delivery and decrease the total vehicle km travelled, providing the opportunity to consider other more sustainable transport modes for the last mile delivery.


ArneBehrensen in his presentation he explained that a breakthrough for cycle logistics across Europe is not only a question of better bikes, better business and logistics concepts: it is mainly a question of politics. There is a strong need for political decision that can change the political framework in favour of cycle logistics.


KarlReiter briefly presented some data and experiences on Cycle-logistics. In fact there are many opportunities where bikes can be used: leisure transport, business services, bike based vendor, good & postal delivery, shopping and communal services. Moving goods is logistics and moving goods by bike is cycle-logistics!


SjorsVanDuren focussed his presentation on building regional fast cycling routes and the opportunities for cycle-logistics. In the region of Arnhem and Nijmegen a network of about 80 km of fast routes is under construction and it could be an opportunity also for cycle-logistics with the last-mile and even last-five-miles deliveries.

 HarriZuazo presented Txita which is a social company created in 2006 with the aim of contributing to the city of Donostia-San Sebastian with taxi-bike and since 2009 with cargo-trikes. He also presented some analyses of the cycle-logistics sector in Spain, making an assessment of those measures and changes that would favour the evolution and growth of the sector.


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