3.55 - Evaluation of Urban Goods Distribution Initiatives towards Mobility and Sustainability: Indicators, Stakeholders and Assessment Tools

Project Description

Along this study it was intended to attain a general objective, assessing a hypothesis and fulfilling some recognised gaps on the research through scientific contributions to the topic.

As general objective, the thesis aims to evaluate the effects of alternative urban goods distribution initiatives, and to provide some reflections, considerations and ideas in the process of diagnosing urban goods distribution problems and designing the foundations of a general goods practice project and process approach. This objective supports the hypothesis of the study which puts into question whether the power of context on the study of urban goods distribution influences the effects of the implementation of the categorized ‘best practices’ towards mobility and sustainability and considering public and private stakeholders’ interests.

To attain this general objective, the thesis tries to fill relevant gaps in the literature, through the following scientific contributions:

  • First, there are no clear definitions of mobility and sustainability applied to urban freight transport and distribution. The thesis intends to present its own definition and interpretation of both concepts. These definitions of mobility and sustainability will be established to be the main targets to be achieved under a public and private perspective complemented with a specific set of (quantitative) indicators.
  • Second, there is not an established framework to make an evaluation towards mobility and sustainability on urban goods distribution. Each ‘good practice’ presents its own methodology of evaluation and respective outputs, making it impossible to take lessons out of it. The thesis intends to fill this gap, developing a set of indicators. The set will be established specifically to measure mobility and sustainability (on its 3 dimensions) of urban goods distribution and to consider public and private stakeholders’ perspectives.
  • Third, understanding why a given solution was a success/failure at a certain time, in a certain place is as important as knowing whether or not it was a success/failure. Nevertheless, there are no validated (scientific) contributions about pitfalls and success factors and which stakeholders should be involved to implement an initiative. The thesis also tries to fill this gap, suggesting a stakeholder-based analysis and evaluation. This approach tries to include public and private stakeholders in an attempt to identify pitfalls and success factors of each initiative.
  • Lastly, the challenge in urban goods distribution is often to find a sustainable collective optimum of drawbacks and benefits for all actors. If the effects could be estimated and the stakeholders would be aware of the benefits they could have with a specific measure, the negotiation process would be more transparent and could easily lead to an integrate strategy. Therefore, the thesis will try to suggest a tool of evaluation and of support to negotiation, in order to predict what can actually constitute a ‘best practice’: microscopic traffic simulation.
Research Team
  • Sandra Melo
  • Álvaro Costa
Financial Support
  • FCT
Stage of Progress
  • Concluded in 2010