New projects will test clean air solutions for freight across Europe – AirQualityNews
After the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, people turned to home deliveries to meet their needs safely, thus promoting the increased demand for parcels, and consequently an increase in vans and trucks on the roads. Cities need innovative freight solutions more than ever to protect public health, transform the sector and contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable urban logistics system.
This is why Environmental Defense Fund Europe (EDF Europe) is delighted to partner with POLISHED – a leading network of European cities and regions promoting innovative transport solutions – on a new collaboration for zero emission zones for freight.
The freight opportunity
The freight sector – which includes transport trucks, delivery and service vans, construction vehicles, and garbage trucks – is an important part of urban economies. Freight transport is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
In the European Union (EU), trucks contribute 22% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions road transport, while they represent only 2% of all vehicles in circulation. Currently, vans are the fastest growing source of road transport emissions in the EU. In addition, freight vehicles powered by fossil fuels also produce pollutants harmful to health such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine particles (PM2.5).
There is enormous potential for decarbonizing the freight sector and improving the urban environment, and one path is zero-emission zones for freight. These zones only allow access to zero-emission freight and delivery vehicles (e.g. electric vans and cargo bikes), which provides benefits such as reduced congestion, safer roads , cleaner air and lower carbon emissions.
The SURF project
Many European cities are starting to integrate freight into sustainable urban logistics plans, an opportunity for EDF Europe and POLIS to support cities by providing advice and tools to implement innovative transport measures.
Sustainable Urban Freight (SURF) aims to guide city planners, business leaders and other freight decision makers in developing a strategy for sustainable freight transport. SURF focuses on the design and implementation of zero-emission zones for freight and uses a series of peer-to-peer learning activities, expert support, and quick studies or “snap projects” with implementation. work in the field.
the Instant projects are small-scale prototypes that will generate lessons to inform the wider urban freight community and create local and immediate impact. We are delighted to announce the three successful applicants for the SURF Instant Projects:
- Aarhus, Denmark: A port city of 280,000 inhabitants
Project: Integrate urban freight transport into site-specific logistics plans in connection with major infrastructure projects near the central station.
Louise Overvad Jensen, Engineer and Development Consultant, said: “The project will be a natural progression from more strategic plans for transportation and logistics at a large city level to a more operational plan for a specific geographic area where challenges considerable are faced.
“We hope others will learn from our experience and work to transform cities in a way that enables more sustainable logistics solutions.”
- Karditsa, Greece: A flat and interior city with 40,000 inhabitants
Project: Pilot deliveries for local businesses using e-cargo bikes with an emphasis on raising awareness and building partnerships.
Natalia Tzellou, Head of the Land Use Planning Department, said: “We are in the process of defining a strategy for decarbonizing urban logistics throughout the city, so the SURF project is timely. Our local businesses are keen to promote sustainable mobility and cargo bikes represent a great opportunity to expand zero-emission deliveries. ‘
- Ravenna, Italy: A port city and regional capital of 160,000 inhabitants
Project: Define a roadmap towards a zero emissions zone for freight and introduce a “Freight Quality Partnership” as an ongoing participatory process tool for stakeholder engagement.
Nicola Scanferla, Senior Director, Transport and Mobility, said: “Ravenna is committed to making urban freight transport green, efficient and resilient. This project will allow us to work on zero-emission zones for freight concentrated in the city center and to develop the potential for extension to the entire municipality.
“This project will increase ambition and generate cascading effects that will accelerate the process of decarbonization and the vision of a more liveable and accessible city.”
Tip the scales
The total number of small and medium-sized towns in the EU far exceeds the number of large city centers.
These cities can serve as ideal ground for testing and implement new transport strategies and services that are essential for the most pressing mobility challenges. The three cities of the Instant project, all small and medium-sized, will present solutions and pathways that other European cities can replicate and develop.
Many cities are rethinking how to move forward after the pandemic and create healthier communities. Reducing emissions and congestion in freight logistics is an essential path to a more sustainable transport system. The SURF project aims to advance clean air and climate goals not only through Instant Projects, but also through a capacity building program. The aim of this online course is to raise awareness and equip policy makers, practitioners and operators with sustainable capacities to support the transition to zero emission deliveries.
We look forward to sharing the lessons, key findings and tools from instant projects later this year that will help other cities develop a zero-emission freight roadmap and transform polluted urban roads, improve traffic flow. human health and climate protection.
By Felicia Douglas, project manager, [globalcleanair.org]Global Clean Air for Environmental Defense Fund Europe
If you have experience in urban freight technical advice, relevant training or studies, or have a relevant project or study to present, please feel free to express your interest through this form to consider for the online course on capacity building.
To learn more about the SURF project and find out what other European cities are doing to reduce the impacts of freight, you can watch the April 2021 webinar. here.
Photo by Arno Senoner