A sustainability perspective on urban freight transport: Factors and incentives affecting local authorities in the planning procedure
Licentiate thesis, 2008
Freight transport has a minor role in the transport planning procedures in most cities, although the transport operations of freight represent a heavy part of important emissions. Earlier studies in the area show that there is an existing problem mainly based on literature reviews and discussion groups. In this research another approach has been chosen to confirm those theories, as well as develop them. The focus of the thesis is the local authority perspective of sustainable urban freight transport. The thesis aims to contribute to the understanding of how freight transports affect the urban environment and how awareness and knowledge in the local authority do have an effect on the urban freight transport situation.
The thesis is based on three papers and the analysis is based on four studies. The first study was an explorative introductive study based on literature studies, statistics and document analysis. The second study was an explanatory study with a transport review of five cities, where in-depth interviews and direct observations were the main data collection methods. In the third study freight reviews of four cities were conducted through in-depth interviews. The fourth and final study was a descriptive study based on freight reviews of all Swedish cities where empirical data was collected through a questionnaire survey. Three aspects of urban freight transport are considered throughout the thesis: the sustainability concept, knowledge and awareness, and barriers and drivers.
Laws and regulation, infrastructure, financial, political and cultural, practical and technological, and impacts are the factors upon which the results centre. Barriers and drivers within those groups of factors have been identified and conclude the main result from the research. The knowledge of those factors, barriers, and drivers could be used when working with sustainable urban freight issues, as well as describing and developing the area itself.
The results confirm that the knowledge and awareness in the area of urban freight transport is low, which generates a low interest in the subject, thus making it hard to predict outcomes of certain actions. The implication for local authorities is that the issue of urban freight transport should gain a higher priority on the agenda.
urban freight transport
freight transport planning