Freight Transport and the City

European Conference of Ministers of Transport

The aim of every politician is to transform the city into an environmentally sustainable entity. However, while the planning and organisation of passenger services within cities is commonly perceived as a major issue, freight transport is not given the full attention it deserves. As a general rule, the role which freight transport plays in the economy of cities is simply not understood. What invariably attracts attention, on the other hand, is the added pollution and congestion caused by freight transport.

Europe has recently produced a host of new urban development schemes which place more or less severe restrictions on freight movements in cities. While some cities have introduced measures in line with the town planning objectives of territorial development plans, others have adopted short-term solutions to traffic management problems. Since we know that cities are living entities whose vital processes can be disrupted, how can we be sure that all of these measures are a step in the right direction? Our lack of experience makes this a question we would be well advised to consider.

The Round Table reviewed the various aspects of freight transport by examining experiences in different countries and by discussing some of the more innovatory approaches adopted.

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