The rise of virtuous urban logistics: a major challenge for cities

The rise of virtuous urban logistics: a major challenge for cities

Helping cities better analyze their urban logistic flows and enhance the value of their most precious asset: public space.

This article was initially published in French, here.

Public space is an increasingly scarce resource for cities, crystallising the problems of congestion, pollution, dangerous behaviour and inequalities. Moreover, these same problems, and more broadly environmental protection, are becoming priorities for cities but also for businesses. In particular, it is the duty of cities to ensure a good quality of life for their citizens, which means guaranteeing them healthy living conditions while providing them with easy access to the services and goods to which they aspire.

Policies to address the challenges of combating air pollution, reducing CO2 and noise emissions, transport congestion and improving safety are becoming increasingly important in many European cities, with important implications for freight and logistics transport. In particular, the European Commission has set itself the goal of achieving “essentially CO2-neutral urban logistics in large agglomerations by 2030”. The public sector has a crucial role to play in terms of regulation and legislation to support this objective of decarbonising freight transport and last mile logistics.

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1.5 million parcels are delivered every day in New York City

Several cities (e.g. Marseille, Utrecht) have taken rapid action and have already established zero- or low-emission zones. At the same time, it is imperative that these changes occur without negatively impacting operational efficiency and without imposing excessive financial constraints on the logistics sector so that companies can serve their customers while remaining competitive and sustainable. Therefore, in order to meet these immense challenges, it is necessary to establish a real local dialogue with the private stakeholders concerned, with the aim to accelerating the transition. Indeed, ensuring a strong strategic dialogue between the logistics sector and cities should enable the sharing of best practices, facilitate models of collaboration and mutualisation, and accelerate the deployment of solutions promoting cleaner and sustainable freight transport in urban areas.

The aim is to transform cities so that urban freight and logistics proactively respond to the challenges of pollution, congestion, safety and the environment protection. On the one hand, logistics operators need safe and reliable curbside access for collecting and dropping goods. On the other hand, cities need to regain control of their public space, which is now possible thanks to data.

With the boom of e-commerce, nearly 1.5 million packages are delivered every day in a major city like New York. Unfortunately today, the space — already constrained — of our cities is not optimised to cope with these new usages, which have been all the more reinforced or even increased tenfold during the period of containment we have just gone through in the context of the Covid-19 health crisis.

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Estimating the demand for urban logistics space in European cities (Cushman & Wakefield)

Until now, Vianova has mainly been assisting cities with their connected and shared mobility issues. Now, Vianova also provides a “control tower” solution for the circulation of goods within the city, through a real-time dashboard for monitoring the circulation of freight and logistics vehicles. Vianova thus connects to freight/logistics vehicles and enables secure data exchange with municipal authorities. Thanks to this mobility data, the Vianova platform provides valuable information on traffic and delivery trends for freight and logistics vehicles. The movements of these vehicles can also be linked to the loading/delivery spaces available on the road. In the near future, the platform will thus make it possible to dynamically allocate available loading/delivery spaces in real time to vehicles on their rounds.

Starting summer 2020, Vianova will support a major European city in this crucial issue for the future of our cities. More details to come.

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Vianova enables cities to better manage and control their public space: our mission is to help cities effectively orchestrate the ever-increasing influx of goods and people associated with the proliferation of on-demand transportation and delivery services, as well as to easily enforce applicable local regulations.

The aim is to transform cities so that urban freight and logistics proactively respond to the challenges of pollution, congestion, safety and the environment protection. On the one hand, logistics operators need safe and reliable curbside access for collecting and dropping goods. On the other hand, cities need to regain control of their public space, which is now possible thanks to data.

With the boom of e-commerce, nearly 1.5 million packages are delivered every day in a major city like New York. Unfortunately today, the space — already constrained — of our cities is not optimised to cope with these new usages, which have been all the more reinforced or even increased tenfold during the period of containment we have just gone through in the context of the Covid-19 health crisis.