SURF (Sustainable URban Freight) project kicks off!
As demand for ecommerce platforms, construction projects and demand for just-in-time delivery grows, cities and freight operators face increasing pressure to develop more efficient logistics services. Simultaneous pressure to reach air quality and targets provides an opportunity to find cleaner ways of meeting demand. Can cities satisfy increasing freight demand while reducing pollution? POLIS’ new project, SURF (Sustainable URban Freight), launched on 15 April 2021, aims to support the development of Zero-Emission Zones for freight (ZEZ-Fs).
The project is a collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund Europe, one of the world’s leading non-profit organizations that is working to turn environmental solutions into action. SURF brings together city planners, business leaders and other freight decision-makers to develop a vision and strategy pathway for sustainable urban freight.
Riding the wave: why should cities and businesses join the SURF project?
SURF’s emissions. Although the pandemic has undeniably bolstered demand for delivery, recent trends are part of a longstanding shift towards reliance on residential delivery for our everyday needs. Long-term developments require long-term solutions.
As a result, the SURF project focuses on the design and implementation of ZEZ-Fs, which have been shown to dramatically reduce carbon emissions and contribute to healthier cities. By supporting concrete technical, logistical and financial solutions in participating cities, SURF will develop policy guidelines and transferable solutions for others.
The launch webinar also heard from several cities who outlined their freight activities and how the SURF project could support them.
Lola Ortiz Sánchez from Madrid (chair of the POLIS Urban Freight Working Group), Alexandra Bakosch from Gothenburg and Sjouke van der Vlugt from Groningen highlighted how the cities have been rapidly pursuing more sustainable delivery models.
All emphasised the importance of working with neighbouring cities to establish regulatory structures, technical solutions for logistics, and helping to develop and expand the cities’ current endeavours.
SURFs up: The project’s approach
SURF will build on the How-to Guide on Zero-Emission Zones for Freight, a joint effort of POLIS, TDA and C40 Cities to develop and structure knowledge and awareness.
The project will select three European cities to develop concrete and tailored instant projects and studies which will help them advance towards the adoption of a roadmap for ZEZ-Fs.
The project will also set a series of e-learning and peer-to-peer activities to develop, implement and operate ZEZ-F.
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