City Distribution and Urban Freight Transport
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City Distribution and Urban Freight Transport

Multiple Perspectives

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.
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Chapter 11: Evaluation of Urban Goods Distribution Initiatives: An Empirical Overview in the Portuguese Context

Sandra Melo


11. Evaluation of urban goods distribution initiatives: an empirical overview in the Portuguese context Sandra Melo INTRODUCTION The topic of urban goods distribution (UGD), as well as the closely related subject of freight traffic, has been underestimated by researchers and planners. It has been treated as a marginal issue of passenger traffic and usually studied in an inappropriate geographical scale, not taking into account the specificities of freight. Throughout the last decade, increasing concern with key concepts such as mobility and sustainability has, however, contributed to an increase in research on UGD. Research is now taking its first steps concerning this issue and, as has happened in the past with other recent themes, the first tendency has been to look at solutions adopted by other well-known perspectives (like that of the passenger) and apply them to the new specific context (that of freight). This chapter, which results from more extensive research into the topic of UGD, tries to steer clear of that tendency, applying a tailor-made methodology to the study of this subject. The next section presents mobility and sustainability criteria as the two main pillars to validate alternative solutions to UGD as ‘good practices’. To put those evaluation criteria into practice, a set of indicators is adopted, developed and validated for the particular study of UGD (Melo, 2010). The set reflects the stakeholders’ main interests in urban freight (public and private objectives) as briefly described in the section. I then present the case study that was carried out in...

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