Paper presented at the Session: “Urban goods surveys”; The surveys specifically focused on the thorough knowledge of urban freight transport appeared about ten years ago. The local problematic of goods transport at local level was partially taken into account by the city planners and by the researchers: until recent years, the integration of goods transport in the total urban flows models was estimated applying a multiplying factor to car traffic. Delivering goods was not considered like a concern.
Because of the quick growth of car traffic in the cities, the main stakes changed too: the fight against traffic congestion, the management of the lack of space (shipment consolidation and storage), the attempts to reduce local environmental impacts and global externalities (energy saving, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions), and economic valuation of city centres (under the pressure of a slowed down economic growth).
All these changes were taking place in a context in which available rooms for manoeuvre were limited by factors such as congestion, concerns about the quality of urban life and budget restriction. It resulted in a growing unease on the freight transport industry and the city authorities, the latter having little or no data, methods and references in order to elaborate a satisfactory policy framework.
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