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Athens city is the capital of Greece and a metropolitan center of more than 4 million inhabitants that is endowed with unique urban and physical characteristics, rendering it a popular year-round tourist destination at both a European as well as at an international level.

Athens is characterized by a very high density of inhabitants – almost 12000 inh per km2 which can be considered as one of the main reasons for the very high traffic with much congestion on the main arteries during peak hours. The current maturity level of city logistics interventions is medium-low, meaning that even though there is a regulatory system for urban freight distribution in place, considerable improvements are necessary to be processed, tested and validated in logistics service level, load factor and traffic reduction.

The area of interest (or influence) comprises a considerable number of blocks within the commercial and historical city center. Aiming at the transformation of Athens from a typical - congested city to an international, livable and sustainable smart city, a systematic and integrated strategic plan concerning all types of interventions in the long-term has already been compiled. The plan constitutes the base and reference point towards the establishment of an integrated SUMP, also incorporating UFT activities (towards SULP). The plan’s priority is the competitiveness, the social cohesion and the social / natural environment protection and preservation.

In particular, a roadmap of policies, initiatives and measures has already been introduced by the local, regional and national authorities. This is the “Integrated plan on city-oriented interventions for Athens” and is considered by the local and regional authorities to be fundamental towards the setting of a basis where the SUMP (also incorporating the SULP) will be based on.


Barcelona is a large Mediterranean city located in the Northeast side of the Iberian Peninsula, with a total extension of 100km² and a population of 1,611,822 inhabitants. The city is especially dense, with 16,000 inhabitants per squared kilometer, although some districts such as Ciutat Vella have a much higher density, 25000 inhabitants/km2. The city division in macro-blocks has taken into account the population of each cell of the city, which is around 2500 inhabitants; however, some blocks have a much higher population.

Regarding traffic, the 61% of total movements are performed by car, 18% with motorcycle and 21% with van or truck. It must be noted that only 6,6% of vehicle stock are good’s vehicles, but they constitute 15% of city traffic and 23% of connecting trips in Barcelona. Barcelona has a commercial proximity network, and it is highly valued by its citizens. Barcelona has a total of 18 commercial axes, and a total of 46 municipal markets.

Due the compactness of the city, retailers and services are located closely to citizens. In this context, municipal markets have a special prominence. Markets tend to structure the centre activities in the neighborhood and give connection to the city. The city council’s aim is to promote the markets as organizational elements of the city.

One of the main problems is the high traffic congestion and GHG emissions, directly affecting urban deliveries operations and quality of life, respectively. As a result the goals of the city of Barcelona are to propose an alternative way for the city logistics system operation, reducing the externalities of traffic, as well as improving efficiency and service levels.

The city of Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna Region with about 400.000 inhabitants. The economy of the province of Bologna is characterized by a flourishing industrial sector, traditionally based on the transformation of agricultural and zootechnical products, also including machinery, automobiles, footwear, textile, engineering, chemical, printing and publishing industries.

The direct area of influence is the T zone of Bologna, which includes three main roads. Bologna LTZ accounts for 45000 vehicles / day and actions for their reduction are needed. The City of Bologna has an experience on city logistics which started in the early 2000s with a strong focus on the reduction of own account transport (at the moment over 50%).

The main city needs and problems focused are the following;  administrative simplification of city logistics rules on a wider regional territorial scale, by sharing and harmonizing information and procedures among cities on a regional scale - access permission of freight vehicles to LTZs ; develop a business and transport operational plan for the use of an existing parking area in Reggio Emilia as UDC (better use of existing infrastructures), served with electric vehicles ; Fostering optimization of freight trips and reduce own account transport as well as private car mobility by projecting a home deliveries system and e-commerce platform for small shops.

Copenhagen Municipality is the largest of the municipalities making up the city of Copenhagen. It lies at the center of Copenhagen and contains the old historic city.

The municipality covers 90.47 km² (2013) according to Municipal Key Figures ( from the Ministry of Economy and Interior and it has a population of 572 376 (1 April 2014). The city is experiencing a growth in population and related significant challenges in terms of growth of urban freight flows and service trips to serve the urban area. A general tendency in the City of Copenhagen is that there is a decrease in heavy traffic while there is an increase in the traffic of vans and small freight vehicles. Copenhagen faces problems of air pollution, peak hour rush and local congestion, and as a result bikes and pedestrians feel unsafe and the city is perceived as less attractive with the many freight vehicles in the city. The city needs policy actions on freight transport to complement the greater achievement reached on people mobility, and as means to improve the environment, safety and the perceived livability and attractiveness of the city as well as better use of existing infrastructures.

The City of Copenhagen has an overall vision and goal for green mobility, stating that mobility in Copenhagen must be greener and more efficient in order to stimulate growth, contribute to a carbon-neutral city and to the good life for Copenhageners.  As a consequence the City of Copenhagen will strive to pave the way for new initiatives to ensure that we attain our goal. Great achievements have already been made on the area of people’s mobility. As freight transport within urban areas has a relatively high impact on the environment, safety and the perceived liveability of the city, making improvements in this area is an important part of the solution to. The area of special interest for the City of Copenhagen is to improve the basic knowledge and understanding of freight transport (including distribution and service trips) in the urban areas of Copenhagen.

Gothenburg is the second largest city of Sweden, with 550 000 inhabitants, situated by the sea (Kattegatt) on the west coast of Sweden while around 255000 work in the central area “Mellanstaden” of Gothenburg. Gothenburg is traditionally known for its large industries, such as Volvo and SKF, and many different lines of businesses are represented in the city and the region. The fastest growing businesses at present are finance and corporate services, and other fast growing sectors are the medical industry and tourism.

The Gothenburg region is the main logistics hub of Scandinavia and the amount of goods handled by the Port of Gothenburg is foreseen to be tripled within the next few decades. Regarding the goods destined for Gothenburg, the transport system works well on overall level, except for some degree of congestion within rush hours.

The central “Mellanstaden” area is supposed to grow with about 150000 new inhabitants and 80.000 workplaces until 2035. Development of more efficient and sustainable freight solutions is a cornerstone in Gothenburg’s traffic strategy, which specifically points out consolidation and clean vehicles as important elements in creating both a sustainable transport system as well as a more attractive city environment.

Finally the main city goals addressed are the following; making the inner area of Gothenburg sustainable and attractive for visitors as well as for retailers and other businesses safeguarding vulnerable road users; developing strategies and measures which can use the existing consolidation practices and further integrate them, by combining the ongoing UCC activities with “care-off addresses” and with a suitable mix of incentives and regulations.

Graz, the capital of the Province of Styria is located in the southeastern part of Austria. It is the second biggest city in Austria with a population of about 270.000 inhabitants, considering the suburban zone this population is doubled. The city of Graz aims to combine a historic preserved city-centre with a modern “City of design”, and is internationally recognized for its dynamic economy and as a location for research and education.

Graz has an extensive public transportation network in the city, additionally the city wants to make freight operations more environmental friendly. Nevertheless there is a lot of congestion caused by private car owners’ movements to city centre and city logistics’ freight operations, with impact to the environmental performance and the general quality of life, accessibility and mobility in city centre. At the moment every freight forwarder delivers the goods separately to the shops located in the city centre. As a result, sometimes there are only one or two packages in a delivery van. In addition, the headquarters of the freight forwarders are mostly located outside of Graz, this leads to long delivering distances.

One of the most important goals of Graz city is to protect the old-city centre, but nevertheless to foster new development in architecture and life. The transport of goods to the pedestrian zone but also the car-traffic of customers in this area may jeopardise the quality of life. Therefore Graz city is trying to improve the logistics to prevent unnecessary deliveries of goods and to optimise the deliveries to shops and from shops to customers. Due to its topographic location in a basin, the city faces considerable climatic challenges and therefore, a new urban development concept revolves around low-emissions, resource-savings and energy-efficiency.

Barking Riverside is one of the largest development sites in London and is the largest housing development in the Thames Gateway. Over the next 20 years 10,800 new homes will be built to house 26,000 people, with a range of supporting infrastructure and facilities also planned. In addition, the area has a long established residential community based in the Thames View and Great Fleet estates.

Barking Riverside is also home to a diverse range of industrial/commercial activities, ranging from local retailers/manufacturers to major multinational companies. The Creekmouth industrial area based around River Road/Thames Road is one of the borough's largest employment areas with over 500 businesses. To the north is the Rippleside commercial estate, home to around 160 businesses (see map below).

It has long been recognised that these competing land uses/operational activities are not readily compatible which, in turn, is leading to conflict in terms of local transport priorities. For example, the area suffers from an overburdened local road network (typified by frequent delays and exacerbated by poor traffic management arrangements) and poor local air quality (the A13 corridor has been designated an Air Quality Action Area).

The problems and goals addressed are the following; significant HGV (Heavy Goods Vehicles) movements and parking problems resulting in congestion and delays, which in turn is reducing the attractiveness of the area as a place for people to live and for businesses to invest/operate; inconsistency of the diverse range of activities with proximity and interferences among residential developments, several schools and large haulage/logistics firms; localized congestion, safety, accessibility and environmental issues within the urban area with reference to freight and service trips; more elaboration should be made in order to build a Freight Travel Plan as means to introduce more sustainable freight practices, behavioral changes in freight and related mitigation actions.

Mechelen, a local government, is a medium-sized city in heart of Europe near Brussels. It has 83.000 inhabitants and as estimated by the planning bureau this will grow to 100.000 inhabitants by 2030. The city has developed the last years to a city with a dynamic image attracting more inhabitants, entrepreneurs, employers, visitors and tourists.

Mechelen has a historic city and in 2012 Mechelen took a big step in installing the car-restricted inner city. The new city management has stated in its agreement (policy for the administrative period 2013-2018) to strengthen and expand the policy of the car free inner city to accomplish a car-free pedestrian shopping triangle.

The inner city is a large open air shopping centre over 55000 commercial m2 with 686 shops. The vacancy rate is 6,6%. The downtown area has an attractive shopping environment with the Market as an important start and/or end point. Even though there is a car restricted area in the city centre, the vast majority (70%) of citizens’ movements are accomplished by car plus the freight vehicles’ trips, while the public transport has a slight share of only 6%.

The main problems and needs focused are  the low load factors and the increased freight trips which resulted congestion in high density areas and historic centre, road damage, noise and air pollution, affecting the quality of life as well as accessibility problems to the city centre by carries and traders. Therefore, efficient and sustainable urban freight is particular important to reduce CO2 emissions but it is also an important factor in the economic success of the city. It’s the ambition of the city of Mechelen to find a solution for optimizing that traffic in an efficient and sustainable way.

The City of Pisa is a historic Italian town with about 200.000 inhabitants, both with reference to the historical centre and to the wider urban area, and representing the second largest conurbation in Tuscany.

Partly as a legacy of its past, Pisa performs functions that have a regional, national and even global reach: First, it shows global excellence in science and technology, with its three Universities, hosting around 60.000 admissions per year. Second, it hosts cultural sites attracting tourists globally: the Leaning Tower is undoubtedly one of the most famous tourist attraction in the world. Third, it functions as a national hub in rail and air transport: the airport, with over 4 Million passengers per year, is the largest in Tuscany and one of the most important in Italy, while the rail station sees over 15m passengers per year, and is placed at the crossroad between the central and the coastal axis of the Italian rail network.

The monitored area for this intervention is the entire boundary of the city through the main access/exit roads. For specific actions, as the monitoring of reserved parking areas for freight vehicles, the area is the LTZ.

The main problems and needs focused are the following; the lack of knowledge of number and concurrent access of urban freight; this could be resolved through the integration of new technologies (for traffic counting and classification) and the actual instruments already available from the SUMP of the city (RFID gates and passes); the lack of reserved parking slot availability in the centre of the city; this could be solved by increasing the reserved slots for freight vehicles, information about their availability, and the EV VAN Sharing

The city of Reggio Emilia is a historic city, with a population of 170.000 inhabitants (a typical medium-sized city). The economy of the province of Reggio Emilia is based on agriculture, mechanics for agriculture and fashion sectors. Reggio Emilia is characterized by a total loading unloading operations of about 620.000 per year, with a significant impact on urban congestion.

The main problems and needs focused in the development of a business and transport operational plan for the use of an existing parking area in Reggio Emilia as UDC, served by electric vehicles.

The main city needs and problems focused are the following;  administrative simplification of city logistics rules on a wider regional territorial scale, by sharing and harmonizing information and procedures among cities on a regional scale - access permission of freight vehicles to LTZs ; develop a business and transport operational plan for the use of an existing parking area in Reggio Emilia as UDC (better use of existing infrastructures), served with electric vehicles ; Fostering optimization of freight trips and reduce own account transport as well as private car mobility by projecting a home deliveries system and e-commerce platform for small shops.

Rome Municipality, capital of Italy, counts 2.8 million of residents, distributed on a surface of 1,285 sqkm.

Situated in the region of Latium, central-western portion of Italy, the city is characterized mainly by wholesale, retail and professional activities; in terms of employees, those of the transportation and storage sectors represent almost 300 thousand units (10% of the total).

Regarding freight distribution, Rome Municipality has focused the attention on the historical centre, in terms of access regulation, limited traffic zone and vehicle’s restriction.

The main problem is the overall impact of freight distribution (environment, economic, quality of life of citizen, public services to citizens and operators). The goal of Rome is to reduce such impact without compromising business, liveability and economic growth of the city. This means finding out and implementing tools to define and put in action city logistics solutions able to reduce the overall movements of vehicles, to decrease the thermal engines towards less polluting vehicles – low and zero emission (LEV and ZEV), to reduce the need of land use by freight distribution, to optimize time schedule of deliveries in conjunction with pedestrians and personal mobility needs. In particular, the general objective of Zone 1 (Central Area) is the maximum reduction of private car traffic crossing the zone and almost exclusive use of pedestrian mobility, bicycle and Public Transport. Inside this general framework, Rome expects to develop and test tools and practices, as long as pilot infrastructure for logistics (e.g. UCC), in collaboration with private operators (carriers, logistics operators, retailers), while, in parallel, defining the contents and scheduling of the urban freight plan.

City of Turin is the capital of Piedmont Region, in North-west Italy, and its territory is crossed each year by consistent freight and passenger traffic flows. City of Turin, as cultural and commercial centre, attracts a large number of people and goods; the city spreads for 130.01 Km², with a population of around 900,000 soon to become the capital of the new Turin’s Metropolitan Area (Law n. 56, April 7th 2014). Population density is 6,950 inhabitants/Km2 ranking third in Italy following Naples and Milan. Big real estate areas are located within City of Turin’s industrial zone thus increasing the volume of inbound and outbound goods flows. Six motorways, representing the main north-eastern road corridors, run close. The French border and other Italian Regions are the main origins and destinations of intensive traffic flows. A major railway infrastructure is currently under development on railway corridor connecting with Lyon and is intended to accommodate the flows between Italy and France. The airport has an average of 3.5 million of passengers per year increasing at the rate of 8.6% yearly.

City of Turin Limited Traffic Zone (LTZ) is a 2.62 km2 area characterized by high environmental and cultural value, consisting of a unique architecture, buildings and monuments of national and international importance. The city’s road structure is based on the ancient roman camp grid system (square blocks) whose structure has maintained its peculiarities and physical characteristics unchanged across time. Around 52,000 residents live in LTZ with a density of approximately 12,600-inhabitants/km² which is twice city average. The motorization rate is approximately about 63% and the estimated average trips on a weekday are about 3,43 million, of which 2,46 million are motorized. The trips per day per person are 2,44 (1,75 motorized). Of these 53% are with private car, 19% are public transport, 28% other modalities (pedestrian mobility, taxi, bike, etc.).

The Turin pilot in order to improve the traffic flow and reduce the pollution aim to achieve the following goals; reduced number of crossing trips; reduced congestion and emission; improvement of average speed; reduction of pollution; optimization of traffic flows; renewal of vehicles fleet; improvement of operational efficiency.

The Venice Lagoon - including both islands and “core” urban areas of the city historical center- represents a very complex system from a historical, landscape and environmental point of view. It covers an area of 550 square kilometers - 92% of overall area consists of sea and 8% is represented by urban areas above the sea level, including the Venice city center and some other 40 islands. Population is about 90.000 inhabitants, while the majority of established companies operate in the field of trade, service industry and hospitality. Besides commuting (25.000 passengers per day), tourism plays a significant role - up to 25 millions of visitors per year. Given the uniqueness of the Venice Lagoon morphology, the urban freight transport system relies on freight boats and it faces a number of important physical constraints: logistics service effectiveness (up to 2 hours of navigation to reach the most distant destinations), low speed, weather events, etc.

Challenging needs consist of the improvement of the overall accessibility of the extended urban logistics network. Innovative urban logistics network design and business models to implement efficient and effective logistics solutions represent current top priorities by local stakeholders (both public and private) and they will be tackled in the case study.

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Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation under grant agreement No 636626

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