Review: turning a spotlight on governance for sustainable urban construction logistics

Construction logistics is a large share of the urban freight network and a bottleneck for an efficient construction process. Especially in the urban area, professionalization of its management may reduce negative environmental impacts for stakeholders like construction companies, policymakers, and residents.

In a new review paper, a two-step methodological approach was pursued to shed light on construction logistics in the urban environment, reconciling scientific findings with policy considerations for the first time. Therefore, the current state of research was investigated by performing a systematic literature review and applying bibliometric keyword co-occurrence analyses in the first place.

Policy papers (grey literature) on urban freight transportation of the 20 biggest cities in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) were analyzed for their consideration of construction logistics in an initial case study. The results demonstrate limited consideration, with only four cities paying deliberate attention to their overall logistics policy concepts and just one city providing construction logistics-specific policy recommendations. This is in line with the findings that although construction logistics in the urban environment is an emerging topic in academia, it is currently underrepresented in the context of urban logistics research. The combined results suggest insufficient translation of research findings into actionable policies despite existing literature providing possible ways to design future policies, e.g., by supporting decision-making.

In conclusion, policy and academia should pay more attention to the strategic management of construction logistics in the urban environment in proportion to its environmental and socio-economic effects and impact on the construction process. In that regard, predominately robust empirical data is needed to legitimate effective and sustainable concepts for urban construction logistics for both public and private actors.

Source: Haag, P., & Jünger, H. C. (2023). Turning a spotlight on construction logistics for a sustainable urban environment—A review of current policy concepts and literature. Frontiers in Built Environment, 9, 1202091.

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