Four Dutch projects awarded funding within ENUAC call on sustainable urban logistics

Dutch NWO has selected eight projects for funding within the joint JPI Urban Europe and NSFC call (ENUAC). Dutch research teams are involved in four of the projects. Researchers will work on sustainable urban logistics with public and private partners. The projects aim to contribute to achieving accessible, climate-neutral, and sustainable cities in China and the EU. NSFC and NWO work together in the Cooperation China-The Netherlands program.


Dutch researchers are involved in four of the eight selected projects. The projects can be found on the JPI Urban Europe program website. The awarded projects in which Dutch researchers participate are:

IMUMCN – Improved urban mobility toward climate neutrality under new working habits and transport modes
Project Coordinators: Prof Klaus Hubacek, University of Groningen (the Netherlands); Prof Yue Bao, Beijing Jiaotong University (China)
Consortium: the University of Groningen, the Netherlands; Beijing Jiaotong University, China; Tsinghua University, China; Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland; Beijing Transport Institute, China; The city of Poznań, Office of Project Coordination and City Revitalization, Poland; Hilversum energie transitie, the Netherlands

Most modern cities struggle with severe traffic congestion and emissions. Thus achieving an efficient and climate-neutral urban transport system is one of the key challenges. The widespread availability of technology (e.g., the internet and smartphones) and changes in societal trends, particularly work habits (e.g., telework and overtime work), further complicate the problem, increase uncertainty and provide new challenges to urban mobility. With real-life experiments and advanced urban transport modeling approaches, researchers will investigate short-run behavioral impacts and long-run implications of these challenges on urban mobility and city structure. They will further explore the potential for integrated Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions and market-based personal carbon permit trading in providing an efficient, equitable, and zero-emission urban traffic system.

This project aims to achieve accessible, climate-neutral, and sustainable cities in China and the EU and provide citizens with sustainable and efficient solutions integrating multiple transport modes.

NEW NORMAL – Sustainable mobility and logistics for post-pandemic second-tier cities
Project Coordinators: dr. ir. Bardia Mashhoodi, Wageningen University, Department of Environmental Sciences (the Netherlands); Prof Ge Ying-En, Chang’an University (China)
Consortium: Wageningen University, Department of Environmental Sciences, the Netherlands; Chang’an University, College of Transportation Engineering; Beijing Jiaotong University, School of Traffic and Transportation, China; KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Division of Electric Power and Energy Systems), Sweden; Nijmegen Municipality, the Netherlands; Xi‘an Transportation Development Research Center, China; Energiforsk, Sweden; Geo-Col, the Netherlands

The consortium aims at developing a novel inter- and trans-disciplinary approach for developing an emission-free, energy-independent, and space-efficient mobility system based on car sharing and drone-based logistics to meet the influx of newcomers in second-tier cities without the construction of new heavy mobility infrastructure such as metro and tram lines, tunnels, bridges, and widening streets. It puts forward a new approach, hereinafter called as MaaS-Lane, designed based on the potentials of edge technologies tested in the pilot tests on EVs, drones, on-surface solar panels, wireless EV charging, and hydrogen generation and storage, and combines into an unprecedented, novel, large-scale approach for mobility and logistics.

The project seeks a broader impact by developing knowledge hubs, an interactive GIS database on the 169 cities for scientists and decision-makers, and an online platform for citizens.

SINERGI – Sustainable Innovative digitalized NEtwork of uRban loGIstics
Project Coordinators: Assoc Prof Shadi Sharif Azadeh, TU Delft (the Netherlands); Kun An, Tongji University (China)
Consortium: TU Delft, the Netherlands; Tongji University, China; Tsinghua University, China; Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Singapore Management University (SMU), Singapore; Just Eat, the Netherlands; AMS Institute, the Netherlands; Gemeente Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Vervoerregio Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Statistics Denmark; Meituan, China; Milkrun, China; Hyke, Norway

Cities face surges in demands for fast home deliveries resulting in increasing market share of online platforms such as Just Eat, Milkrun, and Meituan. Simultaneously Europe and China aim to reduce polluting vehicles in city centers, giving more space for pedestrians and cyclists, to increase the cities’ liveability and safety. This objective and digital transformation of delivery systems provide opportunities for new urban logistics solutions. SINERGI proposes a comprehensive solution framework for designing and operating sustainable city logistics enabling real-time management and strategic planning of efficient and rider-friendly delivery services.

The project outputs will enable delivery providers to offer cost-efficient services considering the well-being of riders. Public authorities will be able to develop a set of actions on road safety and citizens’ welfare that guarantee the long-term impact of SINERGI on urban transport.

SOUL – Sustainable Operations in Urban Logistics
Project Coordinators: Prof Jan C. Fransoo, Tilburg University (the Netherlands); Assoc Prof Dr Lei Zhao, Tsinghua University (China)
Consortium: Tilburg University, the Netherlands; Tsinghua University, China; Kedge Business School, France; Sichuan University, China; Bordeaux Metropole, France; Tianjin University, China; China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, China

Global urbanization and rapid growth in e-commerce and on-demand services contribute to the ever-increasing demand for time-sensitive and fragmented delivery, motivating innovations in sustainable urban logistics. Multi-tier and multi-modal urban delivery networks involve many locations for the micro-storage and sorting of delivery goods, which implies an increase in the use of urban space. We develop innovative strategies leveraging advanced analytics to cope with the inherent dynamics of urban logistics systems, including stochastic models designed to support decision-makers for best use of existing networks of facilities and transportation modes and to cope with limited urban space while meeting increasing customer expectations.

The researchers take a ground-breaking approach to explicitly include the welfare of couriers in their modeling approach, recognizing the anxiety and stress couriers face in this challenging environment and their cognitive strength. This allows the researchers to compare urban logistics practices in two representative cities in Europe and China, with different road network topologies, business environments, and urban densities.

Source: NWO

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