POINT (-0.1333 51.4995)
  • Freight TAILS


    Kick-off meeting in June (Suceava). Transnational meeting in October (Umea).
    Transnational meetings in February (Parma), April (Gdynia), May (Maastricht) and October (La Rochelle).
    Final event in May (Split).

    Municipality of Athienou
    2, Archbishop Makarios III Ave.
    7600 Athienou Cyprus


    Municipality of Santiago de Compostela


    Municipality of Udine (Italy)


    For any enquires into Tech Revolution, email:

    Keep following our social media channels as we develop Tech Revolution 2.0 as part of the second wave of URBACT ||| Programme. 

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    Av. Movimento das Forças Armadas

    2700-595 Amadora



    +351 21 436 9000

    Ext. 1801


    City of Rome

    Department of European Funds and Innovation

    Via Palazzo di Città, 1 - 10121 Turin (Italy)



    Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

    Departamento de Desenvolvimento Local

    Edifício Municipal, Campo Grande nº25, 6ºE | 1749 -099 Lisboa



    Laura González Méndez. Project coordinator.

    Gijón City Council


    Municipality of Piraeus


    City of Ljubljana

    Mestni trg 1

    1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia


    Project Coordinator Martin Neubert

    +49 371 355 7029



    Riga NGO House


    City of Antwarp
    Grote Markt 1 - 2000 Antwarpen

    Manchester City Council
    Manchester M2 5RT

    City of Rotterdam
    Coolsingel 40, 3011 AD Rotterdam

    City Council Bielefeld
    Bürger Service Center
    Phone +49 521 510


    City of Eindhoven
    Stadhuisplein 1, 5611 EM Eindhoven

    City of Loulé
    Praça da República, 8104-001 Loulé
    Phone +351 289 400 600


    City of Igualada
    Plaça de l'Ajuntament, 1, 08700 Igualada, Barcelona


    City of Ghent
    Stad Gent
    Botermarkt 1
    9000 Gent

    City of Genoa
    Via di Francia, 1 - XI floor. 16149 Genova


    City of San Donà di Piave Piazza Indipendenza, 13 – 30027


    City of Naples
    Urban Planning Department 
    Phone +39 081 7958932 - 34 - 17 


    The Barnsley Digital Media  County Way, Barnsley, S70 2JW
    Phone +44 01226 720700 


    Preston City Council
    Town Hall, Preston, PR1 2RL

    City of Piacenza
    piazza Cavalli 2 - 29121 Piacenza - Italia
    tel centralino 
    Phone +39 0523 492 111 

    City of Bilbao
    Plaza Ernesto Erkoreka nº1. 48007 Bilbao. Phone +32 944 204 200 

    City of Poznan
    plac Kolegiacki 17,
    61-841 Poznań


    Westmisnter City Council
    Phone +44 020 7641 6500

    Devoted to discovering Tailored and Innovative Logistic Solutions (TAILS) for the successful management of freight, this Action Planning network aimed on rethinking how freight can shape almost every aspect of our urban lives. The air we breathe, the noise we hear, the traffic we experience, the productiveness of our cities’ businesses, the quality of our surroundings and the liveability of our neighbourhoods. Everything can relate to a single question: how can we make freight transport more effective in cities?

    Tailored approaches for innovative logistic solutions
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  • BLUACT: Why the Blue Economy is an increasing sea of opportunity

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    A report by Darinka Czischke, Conor Moloney and Catalina Turcu
    Carbon neutrality

    The origins of the Blue Economy concept can be traced back to the mid 90’s, when the Belgian businessman turned author, Gunter Pauli, was asked by the United Nations to think about innovative business models of the future.

    Originally conceived with the aim of reconciling the shared goals of stimulating entrepreneurship whilst also preserving marine eco-systems, today, the term ‘Blue Economy’ covers a range potential policy interventions ranging from;

    • Practical programmes for delivering any form of economic growth which is linked to the marine and maritime economy;
    • More complex economic philosophies which draw on a range of ‘circular economy’ concepts and frameworks to deliver growth in such a way which preserves, maintains and enhances the marine environment (and therefore delivers more significant, long run benefits to society).

    The latter concept is an ever-evolving model, which has come to particular prominence recently, over growing concerns about the invasive impact of single use plastics on the marine environment.

    In 2012 the European Commission estimated that the Blue Economy represented over 5 million jobs and a gross added value of around €500 bn per year – a figure which is roughly equivalent to 4% of the EUs total economic output. It also affects a large number of the EU residents with an estimated 40% of the EU population living within 50km from the sea.

    Over the last decade, some member states have seen the Blue Economy grow faster than their national economies. One city that has been at the forefront of trying to stimulate innovative, new Blue Economy businesses is the city of Piraeus in Greece.  

    Helping Blue Growth Entrepreneurs become ‘investment ready’

    The Piraeus Blue Growth Initiative (BGI) is a structured entrepreneurship and innovation competition focussing on the marine and maritime economy. It was the first EU level innovation competition for the marine and maritime economy (Blue Economy) originally established in 2014. It was successfully awarded an URBACT Good Practice status, last year.

    The BGI helps early-stage entrepreneurs develop and realise innovative business concepts and create jobs in the Blue Economy. Operating as an annual business plan competition, the initiative is effectively a programme of activities to help aspiring Blue Growth entrepreneurs get ‘investment ready’ – to effectively prepare their business ideas to the stage where they can secure external investment.    

    The Blue Growth Initiative is structured around a number of elements;

    1. Governance: Establishment of a strong multi-agency Blue Growth governance structure for overseeing the delivery of the programme.
    2. Competition preparation: Building the partnership-based delivery programme and developing the marketing collateral;
    3. Competition delivery: Includes business plan idea generation, proposal evaluation, preparing the successful applicants for a demo day; and organising the demo day/award ceremony 
    4. Incubation Programme: Supporting the successful entrepreneurs to scale their business; and
    5. Ongoing celebration and promotion: to build the profile of the exercise, to recreate it again the year after.

    Transfer of the practice to other cities across Europe

    Having been awarded with the URBACT Good Practice Label, the City of Piraeus was subsequently successful in securing funding to work with Burgas in Bulgaria, and Matosinhos in Portugal, to explore the potential to establish an URBACT Transfer Network, to examine how best to transfer the programme to seven other cities across Europe.

    This process will conclude in October this year when Piraeus submits its application for Phase 2 of the URBACT Transfer Network programme with its seven partners cities.

    If successful, this project could establish a pan-European Investment Readiness programme for aspiring Blue Growth Entrepreneurs and a network of cities keen to build on their marine and maritime assets.

    A European Platform for Investing in the Blue Economy

    What makes this URBACT project particularly timely is that the European Commissioner for the Environment, Karmenu Vella, announced at the 2018 European Maritime Day in Burgas, that DG Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries is building a European investment platform dedicated solely to the blue economy.

    This builds on the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027, in which the Commission proposed;

    • That the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund will focus on ‘promoting the blue economy in fisheries and aquaculture, tourism, ocean energy or blue biotechnology, in coastal communities, at EU level to provide real EU added value by encouraging EU governments, industry and stakeholders to develop joint approaches to drive growth, while safeguarding the marine environment’.
    • That ‘synergies for the maritime and blue economy will be exploited in particular with the European Regional Development Fund for the investment in blue growth sectors and for sea-basin strategy, with the European Social Fund+ to re-train fishers in acquiring skills and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development for support to aquaculture. The collaboration and synergies with Horizon Europe for marine research and innovation will be achieved, for instance by supporting small and medium-sized enterprises for the deployment and market replication of innovative solutions for blue growth and by supporting a thematic investment platform for research and innovation in the blue economy.’; and
    • That ‘the InvestEU Fund will play an important role with financial instruments for market related action, in particular by supporting a thematic investment platform for research and innovation in the Blue Economy’.

    The same document goes on to explain that one particular element of the EUInvest Programme InvestEU Assistance will be established by partners, to provide advisory support and accompanying measures to foster the creation and development of projects, helping projects get off the ground and make them investment-ready.

    However, InvestEU Assistance will need to reach deep into the Blue-Growth entrepreneur community across Europe, if it is to be successful at stimulating innovative, new businesses ideas that possess the potential to add value to the European economy. That’s where a close integration with initiatives like Piraeus’ Blue Growth Initiative can really help.

    As Petros Kokkalis, the Councillor for Local Economic Growth & Entrepreneurship in the Municipality of Piraeus remarked “The Piraeus Blue Growth Initiative has created a value for the city and for Europe, in that it has created a platform for bringing together different parts of the innovation eco-system, to support aspiring Blue Growth Entrepreneurs”

    “One of the major challenges for many of the early stage businesses that we see is raising the funds they need to develop and scale their business. We welcome the establishment of a central Blue Economy investment platform, as it will help address this critical area of market failure and look forward to working with it to support Blue Growth Entrepreneurs.” 

    An increasing sea of opportunity?

    It’s actually a little-known fact, but the word ‘opportunity’ comes from a Latin seafaring phrase, ‘ob portus’, which is made up of the terms ob, meaning “toward”, and portus, meaning “port”. The word came about, because sailors used to have to wait for the right combination of wind, current, and tide to successfully sail into port. They had to seize the right opportunity.

    Today, the opportunity presented by the Blue Economy across Europe is significant and growing. Despite the well-developed nature of the blue economy, there is a scope to further increase its productivity, potential and contribution to the European economy.

    Whilst a wide range of opportunities exist to further this aim, expanding Piraeus’ Good Practice in the field of Investment Readiness to a range of other cities across Europe and connecting this into a central Investment Platform like the one being developed by the Commission will help to establish a coherent cross-sectoral strategy to tackle one of the major obstacles to growth in the sector.


    Visit the network's page: BluAct


    From urbact
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  • Damaged (by) goods? The case for sustainable urban freight logistics

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    Viaggio tra le esperienze di riuso temporaneo realizzate a Ravenna, punto di partenza dell'azione di rigenerazione creativa del territorio al centro del network URBACT Creative Spirits
    City planning

    Our wallets, lungs and nerves deserve better

    According to the definition proposed by the CIVITAS Initiative, urban freight logistics concerns “all movements of goods in to, out from, through or within the urban area made by light or heavy vehicles, including also service transport and demolition traffic, as well as waste and reverse logistics”[i]. It is the critical life support system of the city that – as long as everything is working fine – remains almost invisible. It is probably not one of the issues that first come to mind when we think about the quality of life in urban areas and yet, as the story above illustrates, it has a direct impact on our wallets, lungs and nerves.

    “Cities are places for the exchange of goods and information which are at the heart of our economy and way of life. For cities to be successful they need to optimise the exchange of goods and information while remaining attractive places to live and work.”[ii]

    The estimates provided by the CIVITAS Initiative[iii] are helpful in grasping the sheer scale of freight movements in European cities. An average European city would see 300-400 vehicle trips per 100 inhabitants every single day, with 30-50 tons of goods per person being transported annually. Urban freight accounts for:

    • 10-15% of kilometres travelled,
    • 3-5% of urban land use (reserved for logistics activities), and
    • 6% of all transport-related GHG emissions.

    From an environmental policy perspective, cleaning up urban freight logistics is an important step towards achieving local and European goals, particularly with regard to air pollution, CO2 emissions and resource efficiency. If we add to this the economic importance of the sector plus its social impacts (such as e.g. noise or traffic safety), it becomes clear that cities need to get urban freight logistics right.

    Source: Nightime deliveries, CIVITAS Policy Note, CIVITAS Initative 2015, p.22

    Destination is clear but we are moving too slow

    The European Commission strongly supports the shift towards sustainable urban freight logistics, not only through policy documents but also through related funding opportunities and research. The 2011 Transport White Paper set the goal of achieving essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centres by 2030[iv], encouraging the exchange of best practice, development of integrated strategies and improved public procurement procedures. The 2013 Urban Mobility Package proposed further actions to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact of urban freight logistics, e.g. integration of urban logistics into Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs).

    However, despite a clear policy direction and a number of possible measures identified, the implementation is lagging behind. The 2013 Commission Staff Working Document recognizes that “efficient urban logistics is essential for the economy and the quality of life in cities where most European citizens live but is largely neglected in urban transport policy and planning”, adding that “despite the general agreement on the problems, and in many cases the solutions, there is a broad lack of attention to urban logistics issues”[v]. The document identifies 3 major gaps to be addressed:

    • lack of focus and strategy on urban logistics,
    • lack of co-ordination of urban logistics actors,
    • lack of data and information.

    Compared to the mobility of people, the mobility of goods is an even more complex governance challenge. First of all, we are dealing here with multitude of actors: from multinational companies to local microentreprises, from invidual residents to large private and public sector institutions[vi]. Secondly, freight movements operate on different scales, from global to very local, often just passing by through a city in question. Lastly, the sector is not only an important economic player but also essential to the economic success of the city and its surroundings. Add to this the changing urban form, such as increased density in some areas and urban sprawl in others, plus growing popularity of online shopping  (shopping might be online but deliveries are usually very real!) and you end up with an urban planner’s nightmare.

    How to move forward with the much-needed implementation of sustainable urban logistics? The URBACT programme, with its focus on integrated strategies and stakeholder engagement, can offer a valuable contribution to the European community of planners and mobility experts.

       Freight TAILS to the rescue

    Freight TAILS (Tailored Approaches for Innovative Logistics Solutions) is an URBACT Action Planning Network dedicated to taking sustainable urban logistics one step further, exploring innovative freight solutions in various geographic, socio-economic and policy contexts. The network is a partnership of 9 local and regional authorities:

    • City of Westminster – Cross River Partnership (London, UK) 

    • Brussels – Capital Region (Belgium) 

    • Municipality of Gdynia – ZDiZ Gdynia (Poland) 

    • La Rochelle Urban Community (France) 

    • Maastricht – Maastricht Bereikbaar (Netherlands) 

    • Comune di Parma (Italy) 

    • City of Split (Croatia) 

    • Suceava (Romania) 

    • City of Tallinn (Estonia) 

    • Umeå Kommun (Sweden) 

    Cities embark on this project to "review what is working and why to improve city logistic activity patterns, to identify obstacles and re-evaluate solutions, to explore real transferability, to focus on developing appropriate packages of complementary and jointly reinforcing measures"[vii]. Most of the partners have considerable experience in addressing urban freight issues, raising high expectations for what they can achieve together.

       Sticks, carrots and strategic plans

    European cities have long experimented with various measures designed to improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of freight movements. The tricky part here is to find the balance between boosting economic gains and satisfying customer needs on one side, and safeguarding the environment and providing good quality of life on the other. Luckily, many of the measures tested can provide both economic and environmental benefits, e.g. urban consolidation centres, eco-driving programmes or real-time information systems.

    Source: "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable”,
    CIVITAS Policy Note, CIVITAS Ini
    ative 2015

    CIVITAS Initiative distinguishes between 6 types of measures[viii], ranging from market-based ones (e.g. tax incentives for clean vehicles) to regulatory ones (e.g. various types of access restrictions), from sticks to carrots, from low-hanging fruit to advanced schemes. However, the challenge is to find the right mix for a particular urban context and mobilise political leadership needed to secure implementation.

    The 2013 Strategic plan for goods traffic[ix] in the Brussels-Capital region (one of the Freight TAILS partners) provides an interesting example of how to approach urban freight logistics in an integrated manner. The plan, developed with participation of various regional stakeholders, includes 36 actions organized in 5 priority areas that – if successfully implemented – will turn Brussels into a model for sustainable and efficient urban distribution of goods by 2050. The following priority areas have been included:

    • organise the urban distribution structure, a framework allowing to group and transport goods more cleanly and efficiently;
    • integrate urban distribution in regional land-use planning and development;
    • quickly improve the efficiency of urban deliveries and reduce nuisances;
    • encourage research and innovation and collect regional data;
    • develop a regional framework favourable to an efficient, sustainable urban distribution.

    Today goods traffic only represents 14% of the overall traffic in Brussels, even if that already translates to 16.000 lorries and 26.000 vans entering every day. However, with an 80% increase of merchandise flows expected by 2050, it is clear why Brussels-Capital Region is intent on addressing the issue before the city suffocates.

    In preparing and implementing the plan, Bruxelles Mobilité – the public body responsible for its development, has been drawing heavily on best practices coming from cities across Europe and hopefully this spirit of collaboration will continue with the Freight TAILS project. The first transnational meeting that took place in Brussels in February 2016 was definitely a good indication, with all partners visiting Brussels’ Urban Consolidation Centre (UCC), operated by City Depot and discussing its business model.

    The establishment of the UCC is a pilot project, with plans to create a multi-centre network across Brussels. The trial was implemented as part of the European project LaMiLo that aimed to improve the “last mile” in a logistics supply chain journey.

    The Freight TAILS morning: visit to the Urban Consolidation Centre in Brussels. Source: Freight TAILS


    5 questions to be answered by Freight TAILS

    So where next for Freight TAILS cities? During the start-up phase of the project, the partners have identified 5 common challenges to be addressed by the network:

    • how to overcome technical, economic and political factors limiting integrated freight management?
    • how to encourage public sector, businesses and consumers to demand more sustainable freight services?
    • how to use sustainable public procurement practices to stimulate the market, reduce costs and achieve better environmental outcomes?
    • how to promote zero emission vehicles for fossil fuel free urban logistics?
    • what kind of smart management solutions work best at the local level?

    Source: Charlotte Knell (Lead Partner, Cross River Partnership, UK)
    and Philipp Stein (Freight TAILS Lead Expert) representing the project during URBACT meeting in Paris. Source: Cross River Partnership

    If these questions resonate with you, if you have good (or even better, bad) experiences you would like to share, please get in touch with the Freight TAILS network. You can follow @freight_tails on Twitter or get updates on their progress via the URBACT website.


    [i] "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable”, CIVITAS Policy Note, CIVITAS Initative 2015, accessed 7 April 2016, p.9

    [ii] A call to action on urban logistics, SWD (2013) 524 final, Brussels 17.12.2013, accessed 8.04.2016, p.2

    [iii] Smart choices for cities, p.7

    [v] A call to action on urban logistics, SWD (2013) 524 final, Brussels 17.12.2013, accessed 8.04.2016, p. 9-10

    [vi] See above "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable", p.12 for a comprehensive overview of urban freight stakeholders

    [viii] "Smart choices for cities. Making urban freight logistics more sustainable", p.16

    [ix] Strategic plan for goods traffic in the Brussels-Capital Region, Bruxelles Mobilité 2014


    From urbact
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    Project launch
    Project completed

    Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe (EVUE) focuses on the development of integrated, sustainable strategies and dynamic leadership techniques for cities to promote the use of electric vehicles. Urban initiatives to encourage the public and business to use EV's will contribute to EU clean air and car fleets targets, making cities more attractive and competitive.  Between 2009 and 2013, nine citiesacross Europe: Beja, Katowice, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Suceava and Zografou, supported by the URBACT programme, worked together to share knowledge and experience of how EVs can be implemented in the urban environment under the EVUE project. 

    Further activity has been undertaken through Pilot Delivery Network funding to look at the outcomes from the Local Action Plan process. EVUE II concludes in March 2015.

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  • EVUE


    Project launch
    Project completed

    Electric Vehicles in Urban Europe focuses on the development of integrated, sustainable strategies and dynamic leadership techniques for cities to promote the use of electric vehicles.

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