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Transport and Environment Alliance for Urban Sustainability

European Union
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Project Acronym
TELLUS (Results 7 - PF7: UGT - New Concepts fo...)
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport


Background & Policy context

CIVITAS (City – Vitality - Sustainability) is a European Commission (Commission) initiative to promote cleaner and better transport in cities. Through the CIVITAS Initiative, the Commission aims to generate a decisive breakthrough in clean and better urban transport by supporting and evaluating the implementation of ambitious integrated and sustainable urban transport strategies that make a real difference for the mobility and quality of life of citizens.

Under the umbrella of the CIVITAS initiative, five European cities were clustered in the TELLUS project: Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Berlin (Germany), Göteborg (Sweden), Gdynia (Poland) and Bucharest (Romania). Within the TELLUS project 48 demonstration measures were implemented, which varied in number and differed widely regarding contents, type and underlying policies. Particular local circumstances, specific city characteristics as well as needs expressed, problems faced and priorities given shaped the selection of a specific set of innovative transport measures in each city.


The TELLUS project set itself ambitious transport-related, environmental and societal objectives to be reached after four years (2006). Moreover the project formulated target quantifications also for 2010. This orientation towards objectives emphasised the process character of the project not ending with its financial assistance but bringing effects for the city beyond this phase.

The specific objectives of the project were to:

  • increase the modal share in favour of public transport;
  • increase public transport use;
  • reduce road casualties and injured people;
  • reduce congestion;
  • reduce car kilometres;
  • increase bicycle kilometres;
  • reduce air pollution and noise to levels below national and EC directives;
  • reduce NOx emission from heavy traffic;
  • reduce traffic related CO2 emissions and energy use;
  • improve intra-organisational co-operation at the city level;
  • achieve extensive political and public awareness for TELLUS;
  • improved public-private co-operation.

Each city implemented a set of measures. There are no two cities that had exactly the same mix of measures. The number and spectrum of measures differed from city to city according to the focus identified as relevant for the respective city and the city’s role within the CIVITAS-Initiative (leading cities and followers). Rotterdam implemented 26 measures, Berlin 10, Göteborg 8, Bucharest 4, and Gdynia implemented only 1 measure. 

The TELLUS demonstration measures were not an isolated attempt to improve the living conditions of the citizens, but they were integrated into the cities’ urban transport policies and plans. In general, the focus of the TELLUS project was on translating urban transport policy into practical implementation of innovative measures, whereas ‘innovative’ is understood in the city-specific context. However, not all measures were concerned with implementation, but some aimed at preparing the ground while others supported strategies and measures by developing a concept to be implemented later and/or through a different scheme. Out of the 48 TELLUS measures 28 were aiming at direct implementation, 17 at concept development and implementation, and 3 measures developed concepts only.


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG TREN)
Type of funding
Public (EU)


This form reports on the TELLUS results relating to the CIVITAS policy field “New Concepts for the Distribution of Goods” according to the demonstration site (Berlin, Bucharest, Göteborg, Gdynia, Rotterdam) and measure. If you are interested in the TELLUS results relating to other CIVITAS policy fields, please see the form "TELLUS (Overview)" available on the TRKC website to identify the exact name of the policy field and search the corresponding form on the TRKC website.

1) Berlin (Germany).

- Inner-city logistics centre.


This demonstration measure aimed at changing the modal split in freight transport towards more sustainable modes, promoting clean propulsion techniques and improving intermodal co-ordination in the field of freight transport. Therefore, the measure, consistent of three interrelated parts, attempted to promote the advantages of the newly built tri-modal logistic centre Berlin “Westhafen”, support the introduction of CNG powered distribution vehicles (in co-operation with the measure “Introduction of CNG powered vehicles”) and develop a container tracking system that improves the efficiency and security of intermodal container transport.


At the beginning of the measure it soon turned out that the tri-modal logistic centre would not be put into full capacity operation within the next few years, and consequently this part of the demonstration measure could not be implemented. The introduction of CNG-powered distribution lorries could not also be implemented due to the facts that the tri-modal logistics centre was not put into full operation during the life cycle of TELLUS.

The main features of the new telematics-based container tracking system include:

  • movement or shock sensor in order to be able to prove whether a container has been jolted during rail transport, leading to breakages of goods;
  • automatic door-opening control as proof of whether the door had been opened without authorisation and goods have possibly been removed;
  • loading space control to improve container loading.

Further demands on the system included a high degree of accessibility and low maintenance costs. Regarding the latter it was

Policy implications

The general policy implications relating to the CIVITAS policy field “New Concepts for the Distribution of Goods” are the following.

  • It is important to take the size of the potential user group into consideration. New logistics concepts can only be economically viable and contribute to an appreciable easing of the burden on the environment if they are used by as many customers/participants as possible;
  • The measure design should include economic benefits for users/customers;
  • Create an interest by allocating time and resources to information and marketing campaigns;
  • Pay careful attention to communication: it is important form start to finish. Good communication and establishing an open dialogue are essential for developing and maintaining a good relationship between the municipality and the private sector;
  • Actively combine activities for goods distribution with accompanying measures. Through accompanying measures (e.g a motorway toll for lorries), the shift to environmentally-friendly means of transport can be stimulated;
  • Secure the legal status of the environmental zone as an important instrument for creating liveable cities. Environmental zones can be a very effective measure in reducing the inner city emissions of truck traffic. This is also recognised at European level. There is however a discussion about the compatibility of environmental zones with European competition laws. TELLUS recommends DG TREN to secure the legal status of the environmental zone as an important instrument for creating liveable cities;
  • Actively participate in national debates and working groups. Co-operation at national level, directly with the national government and among major cities in a country is recommended when developing restrictive policies like the environmental zone;
  • Take time to look for the right contact person for every step in the measure, because it pays out. It is not always the president of the company, the board or the steering committee that is the best source of information when you want to find out information about problems or possibilities;
  • See if the measure has a safety aspect and use it in your promotion campaigns;
  • Check the legal framework and the legal possibilities right at the start of the work;
  • Carefully look for the appropriate size o


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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