Making the wine-dark sea greener

By Dr. Teresa de la Cruz, ZLC Project Manager.

Leer versión en español


Urban areas around the North Mediterranean coast and hinterland are collaborating on a new project intended to make urban logistics in the region smarter and greener.

Financed by the Intereg Euro-Med Programme (a 14 country European territorial cooperation programme) and cofunded by the EU, the new venture is entitled MEDiterranean Collaborative Logistics for the Urban Space, or MED COLOURS for short.

MED COLOURS has the specific objective of promoting climate change adaptation, disaster risk prevention and resilience through eco-system based approaches, bearing in mind that urban freight transport accounts for up to 25% of CO2 emissions and 30-50% of nitrogen oxides and fine particulates arising from transport in cities (which itself accounts for around 23% of the EU’s transport-related greenhouse gas emissions). Many ‘solutions’ have been proposed, such as Low Emission Zones, time windows, vehicle weight and size restrictions, and congestion charges, but even in the minority of cities that have formal Sustainable Urban Logistics Plans (SULPs), these are rarely put into practice, or become obsolete as technologies, regulations and behaviours change.

So MED COLOURS will be looking to apply a low carbon perspective to urban freight distribution, promoting a new generation of urban logistics planning that will support transition to decarbonised and smarter cities, and enabling the logistics communities to plan and adopt resilient, sustainable, integrated and collaborative innovation-driven solutions.

The 30 month project is focussed on six medium-sized urban areas that have or are developing SULPs. These are Koper (Slovenia), Lisbon (Portugal), Livorno (Italy), Lyon (France), Cesena (Italy) and Thessaloniki (Greece), and activities will fall into three areas.

Firstly, a look at collaborative logistics planning will attempt to benchmark urban logistics practices in the area, develop joint methodologies and guidelines for sustainable and resilient urban logistics planning, and use these to develop and update SULPs.

Second, five of the six areas will conduct feasibility studies and preparatory actions for relevant pilot projects for urban freight transport solutions, moving on to implement and monitor these, and assess the potential for wider uptake, upscaling and transfer.

From all this it is then intended to develop transition scenarios that would move urban freight in MED cities towards zero emissions, monitoring impacts (including carbon footprints) and developing transnational cooperation with the Euro-Med Green Living Areas Mission, and other EU projects and logistics networks.

ZLC’s involvement is two-fold. We will be leading the feasibility studies for the five pilot schemes. We will also be acting as Transferability Coordinator, ensuring that training and knowledge transfer activities are as effective as possible.


For more information please contact Dr. Teresa de la Cruz at [email protected]