Can smart mobility hubs be a game changer if you ignore their city logistics role?

There is a new report out by Urban Europe on smart mobility hubs as game changer in transport. The report provides valuable guidelines for integrating mobility hubs in the urban space. A mobility hub is a physical location where shared mobility options are offered at permanent, dedicated, and visible locations and where public or collective transport can be found within walking distance.

Mobility hubs have the potential to create an attractive and competitive alternative to private motorized transportation by including and connecting different mobility opportunities in an area. The attractiveness and convenience can also be leveraged by place-making strategies and complementary non-transport-related services.

However, after reading the report, I felt there was something missing in the approach. Can smart mobility hubs be a game changer if you ignore their potential city logistics role? I don’t think so! And that role goes beyond opening a parcel locker. Mobility hubs can play a role in service- and construction logistics (including storage of goods), microhubs for cargobike companies, companies offering zero-emission light electric freight vehicles, and more.

A recent thesis by TU Delft student¬†Israe Chetouani¬†investigates the knowledge gap by investigating whether and under what conditions logistics functions can be added to mobility hubs. If you don’t look at city logistics opportunities, will future mobility hubs really be smart? The answer is simply NO.

Walther Ploos van Amstel

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