Integration of Goods Movement in City Planning: Understanding Stakeholder Engagement
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Cities need goods for their citizens and activities, movement of goods is crucial for making cities liveable and attractive, and movement demands space. Due to urbanization and increased densification, space is becoming a scarce resource, particularly in city centers. Additionally, changing societal and technological trends impact how space is utilized for urban freight. For example, e-commerce implies a change in consumer behavior, both in shopping and in travelling, which in turn necessitates changes in logistics solutions in the final step of the supply chain, the last mile. The thesis focus on the integration of goods movement in city planning. Integration of urban freight into transport planning policies and city plans requires sufficient understanding of the interaction between freight flows and the urban environment, as well as an understanding of how to integrate freight stakeholders’ interest in planning to facilitate and manage the integration. A multifaceted approach is therefore needed to initiate the process of integration. Goods movement and personal mobility are closely linked through their use of the same infrastructure and space. Both are subject to the creation of common solutions for achieving goals relating to climate, congestion, and capacity. While passenger transport has received considerable attention from researchers and policymakers, less attention has been given to urban freight transport. This is partly because cities lack sufficient resources to tackle challenges in urban freight, and because until recently the negative effects were less visible, logistics is not considered an important topic in city planning. Thus, freight stakeholders are seldom represented and do not participate in public planning processes at the local level. Through my research with interviews, focus group seminars, online survey, and participant observations I have demonstrated that cities need to adjust the public planning processes and city logistics measures to match the local context. Regarding stakeholder engagement, the research showed that collaboration, negotiation, and consensus-building are viable strategies to overcome the complexity and often conflicting interests within urban freight. Further, the research revealed the successful city logistics policies depends on recognizing and understanding the complexity of logistics chains, the concerns of different actors, and urban freight transportation problems. Local authorities will benefit from working jointly with private stakeholders towards developing strategies for policy integration. My research has contributed to the field in identifying that involving stakeholders is an important way to improve the integration of goods movement in city planning. Further research on the integration of goods movement in city planning should continue to expand the scope from city logistics to considering the whole urban mobility system, including both goods movement and personal mobility. The integration has to consider planning and management towards increased flexibility in both infrastructure capacity and network capacity for passenger and goods transport, with the purpose to improve the collective use of urban spaces. Shaping spaces according to local needs and supporting communities by rethinking the use of urban areas may be low-hanging fruit in practical planning. Transportation planning in urban areas should to a larger degree highlight the relationships between consumer behavior, travel behavior and the performance of urban logistics as these relationships will impact mobility in urban communities, city planning, and the possibility of multifunctional use of urban space in the years to come.
Has partsPaper 1: Bjørgen, A., Seter, H., Kristiansen, T. & Pitera, K. (2019). The potential for coordinated logistics planning at the local level: A Norwegian in-depth study of public and private stakeholders. Journal of Transport Geography, 76 (4), 34–41. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtrangeo.2019.02.010 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rtbm.2014.05.001
Paper 2: Bjerkan, K. Y., Bjørgen Sund, A. & Nordtømme, M. E. (2014). Stakeholder responses to measures green and efficient urban freight. Research in Transport Business and Management, 11, 32–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rtbm.2014.05.001
Paper 3: Bjørgen, A., Bjerkan, K. Y. & Hjelkrem, O. A. (2019). E-groceries: Sustainable last mile distribution in city planning. Research in Transportation Economics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.retrec.2019.100805 This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Paper 4: Bjørgen, A., Fossheim, K. & Macharis, C. (2021). How to build stakeholder participation in collaborative urban freight planning. Cities, 112, 103149. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2021.103149