Lector Walther Ploos van Amstel (AUAS): perspectives on sustainable city logistics

Clean and sustainable cities are appealing places to live, to work, to enjoy life, and – not least – to invest in.  I live right in the very center of Amsterdam and look out over the bustling square in front of Central Station. Every day, around the clock, trucks and delivery vans drive past my door to deliver shoes and put fresh fish on the table; they deliver packages from web stores, they arrive with construction materials, and they pick up lots and lots of garbage. It’s a wonderful sight if you enjoy transport as much as I do.

My neighbors aren’t quite as excited about transport, however. They complain about the poor air quality, the lack of safety, and the inaccessibility of the neighborhood. Irritation is also growing among the local business owners themselves. Their customers are complaining… It’s really not much fun trying to enjoy a cold beer at an outdoor café with all those trucks and touring cars chugging by.

Good city logistics is important for the economic vitality and the appeal of cities. It ensures that restaurants can serve their guests, that stores can offer the very latest product range and that buildings can be renovated without delays.

Urbanization puts new demands on urban mobility. As customer demands evolve, city logistics is becoming more and more finely meshed and more often just-in-time. If no adjustments are made to current policy, city logistics will continue to grow. City logistics needs to become smarter, cleaner, quieter, and safer, with faster flows.

The City Logistics research program from the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) will be conducting applied research on ways to improve city logistics. In this white paper I will start by giving an impression of the challenges in relation to city logistics in Amsterdam and other cities. I will then give an overview of the themes for future research. In developing a base of practical knowledge, we will be making use of an integrated approach on the basis of a city logistics concept and the Business Model Canvas.

Walther Ploos van Amstel.

The full document can be downloaded here.

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