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Centre for Eco-Friendly City Freight Distribution

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

In the last ten years, major efforts have been carried out by European cities to tackle traffic congestion and related pollution. Access restriction to city centres has become a common practice based on specific transport schemes and innovative infrastructure. However, little attention has been paid to the urban goods distribution process, which is one of the major sources of energy consumption, noxious gas emissions and noise levels in urban areas. The main reason for this lack is the multiplicity of actors involved in the process.

The project is a response to the need to tackle increasing traffic congestion and related energy consumption, as well as with the urge of reducing the air and noise pollution in urban areas, the damages caused to the environment, to the historical and artistic heritage, and to the citizens’ quality of life. Over the past few years, the city of Lucca has invested significant resources to reduce the energy consumption related to traffic, and the noxious gas and noise emissions. The municipal administration aims to enhance the urban logistics services by reducing its environmental and social impact and by redirecting it to a sustainable development.


The aim of the CEDM project was to implement a series of measures (at regulatory, organisational and technological levels) to launch the Centre for Eco-Friendly City Freight Distribution in the historical centre of Lucca. These measures would be based on city logistics schemes integrated in the broader context of mobility and transport measures. This would allow Lucca to achieve high standards of energy efficiency and environmental quality, thereby acting as a model for other European cities. The project would demonstrate innovative models focusing on the co-operation of the different actors within the logistics chain, such as freight transport operators, eco-friendly fleets for city deliveries, local authorities and mobility operators.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Union
Type of funding
Public (EU)


The CEDM project demonstrated an integrated and innovative approach to urban logistics. This approach relies on co-operation among several actors involved in the logistics chain and the use of new distribution schemes. It is also dependent on the implementation of a number of measures (regulatory, organisational, operational and technological) which reduce the negative impacts that the current logistic processes have on the urban environment.

The approach verified the feasibility of the logistic base (Transit Point), which is favourably located with regard to the route network and the historical centre of Lucca and works as a transfer point for the goods in entrance and exit to the centre. A web based IT platform enabled the management of urban distribution activities, aimed at reducing the vehicle circulation and increasing the efficiency of the urban delivery system. Moreover, the project tested an ecological vehicle fleet for the supply of logistic services within an urban context, thereby reducing the entrance flow of freight diesel vehicles.

The results achieved during the system test phase are valuable for the implementation of an innovative solution of goods delivery processes in urban contexts. The developed business plan points out that the proposed solution for the full scale service is viable and economically sound even in the minimum scenario.

Estimated environmental benefits for the implementation of the CEDM approach based on a reduction of either 1/3 or 2/3 of the non-ecological freight vehicles circulating within the historical centre included a reduction of

  • the visual intrusion of duty vehicles by 24% or 54%
  • polluting vehicles by 48% or 85%
  • emissions of the most harmful air pollutants (CO, PM, NOx and VOC) by 35% or 75 to 80%
  • the average noise levels during the day by 2,8 dBA or 8,6 dBA respectively


These positive results form the basis on which the Municipality’s action can develop further, after having tested and validated the most suitable solutions. The Ministry of Environment granted additional funds needed to implement the full-scale system, which will be operative starting from early 2009. This is expected to lead to a decrease in the number of circulating vehicles, increased efficiency of the urban distribution scheme, an improvement of the offer and quality of the services in the city and the trialling of additional services for commercial operators and their customers (deliveries to parking areas/private homes/hotels, collection of used packaging, etc.).

Sustainability of the project’s achievements will depend on the ability of the new municipal utility managers to gain market share as well as to develop the solutions of the project to their full potential. This includes further innovative services with added value and higher quality aimed at different categories of urban logistics users: third party warehouse services for shopkeepers, deliveries with monitored parking areas – park&buy – services to hotels, services dedicated to underprivileged users, delivery at particular points such as pick-up-points, e-lockers, etc.

This project has been selected as one of the 17 Best LIFE Environment projects in 2008-2009.


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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