City Distribution and Urban Freight Transport

City Distribution and Urban Freight Transport

Multiple Perspectives

NECTAR Series on Transportation and Communications Networks Research

Edited by Cathy Macharis and Sandra Melo

City distribution plays a key role in supporting urban lifestyles, helping to serve and retain industrial and trading activities, and contributing to the competitiveness of regional industry. Despite these positive effects, it also generates negative (economic, environmental and social) impacts on cities worldwide. Relatively little attention has been paid to these issues by researchers and policymakers until recently. The analyses found in City Distribution and Urban Freight Transport aim to improve knowledge in this important area by recognizing and evaluating the problems, with a focus on urban freight transport systems.

Chapter 7: City Logistics in Italy: Success Factors and Environmental Performance

Carlo Vaghi and Marco Percoco

Subjects: environment, transport, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, transport, urban studies


Carlo Vaghi and Marco Percoco INTRODUCTION Some 80 per cent of the population in Europe is living in urban areas, and the economy and industrial production is also concentrated in urban areas. ECMT (1997) estimates that at least 20 per cent of the trips made by urban population are performed for shopping and retail goods procurement purposes; also that urban freight traffic performance (in tonne-km) weights for 30 per cent of the total freight traffic and that equivalent vehicles used for urban distribution account for 20 per cent of the total urban road congestion. These data claim an active management of urban freight flows. Among the several approaches to address this issue, city logistics has now gained vast consensus among policy-makers. According to OECD (1996), city logistics is defined as ‘measures for maximising the loading factor of vehicles and at minimising the number of vehicles per km, aiming at making goods distribution in the cities more environmentally sustainable’. On this definition, city logistics implies the existence of a series of interconnected transport policies and measures aimed to reduce atmospheric pollution and congestion, and increase accessibility of cities. All those measures should in general aim to improve the quality of life in the cities. In other words, urban centres should be attractive to inhabitants and city users (employees, business people, tourists etc.). Shops must be able to receive consumer goods with specific frequency (according to the type of goods, e.g. drugs must be distributed to pharmacies up to four times per...

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