The development of logistics real estate adapted to professionals and respectful of the requirements of cities has gradually emerged as an adequate response. It allows for mobility optimization and the accelerated decarbonization of distribution activities. But it must not and cannot be an isolated response to the revolution that the climate challenge imposes on us.
This handbook perfectly illustrates this permanent tension between scales, uses, and the visions of actors that are not aligned. The challenge is to reverse the perspective: is it real estate that meets the city’s logistics needs, or is it the logistics operators who use this real estate? To what extent can urban logistics be designed, or at least oriented, for the benefit of territories and their users?
Recent years have seen some controversies relating to logistics real estate. The growth of e-commerce has fueled fears of exacerbated competition with traditional retail structures. Warehouses are also identified as contributors to land artificialization, due to the increasingly large surfaces they occupy, often on former agricultural land. A reform of urban planning legislation in France now makes it possible to count better logistics buildings in calculating the consumption of natural spaces. Regional authorities are beginning to lay down guidelines for “zero net artificialization” in their master plans.
In cities, opposition to “dark stores” or small urban warehouses for ultra-fast deliveries of everyday groceries has been growing throughout 2022. These facilities are resented by residents, mainly because of the concentrations of vehicles and the noise they generate. In addition, municipalities see them as threats to local commerce and urban life. While their legal definition continues to be debated, dark stores are and should remain few.
Other significant changes affect the spatial organization and architecture of warehouses. The electrification of logistics vehicles is progressing rapidly. Companies are taking the carbon impact of their logistics activities more seriously. Cargo bikes and electric mopeds are appearing in last-mile deliveries, requiring a spatial reorganization of warehouses and the emergence of urban logistics hubs, which require massive supply modes, including more trucks, for which environmental and safety aspects will have to be addressed.
Tomorrow’s warehouses will have to accommodate these new vehicles in all their diversity, just as they will have to be equipped with solar panels on the roof. The greening of the roof and the spaces surrounding warehouses is also on the menu.
At the same time, the issue of labor in the warehouses is gaining momentum. Logistics jobs are changing. Recruitment is difficult, and warehouse jobs must become more attractive, diverse, and qualified.
This handbook was written by Matthieu Schorung, Laetitia Dablanc, and Heleen Buldeo Rai, under the scientific supervision of Laetitia Dablanc, with contributions from Juliette Berthon, Caroline Adamy, and Adeline Heitz.
You can download it through this link: https://lnkd.in/dBVrA8uY