The medium to large old cities of Europe with their small often Middle Aged inner cities become more and more inaccessible due to the increasing volume of traffic. Consequences are, among other things, imminent deterioration of the urban environment, public inconveniences and sub-urbanisation. Local authorities pay more and more attention with regard to urban planning and the functioning and needs of urban structures and their modes of development. In order to avert this situation within the medium sized City of Leyden (The Netherlands), an institutional framework for cooperation and coordination of investment, development, transport and environmental decision making has been set up. Partners involved are the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, individual companies and several departments of the Municipality. The approach hereby is to shift from individual to collective transport and reinforcement of the regional economy.
The City of Leyden has developed in this LIFE-project a City Distribution Centre (CDC) located in the outskirts of the city. The CDC is to reduce the heavy traffic in the inner city by transshipping and conveying loads smaller than 1 m3 by smaller and ecologically more sound delivery vans. This way a considerable reduction in air pollution (CO2, SO2 and NOx), smell and noise is expected due to an estimated daily reduction of 19.000 lorry kilometres. To registrate the effects of the CDC, a local air quality monitoring system is being set up. A socio-economic monitoring system is being set up in order to registrate the economic position of the inner city.