The integrated urban geography of retail and logistics in the on-demand economy. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2023

Abstract

The rise in e-commerce led to the advent of the on-demand economy with ever faster, cheaper and more personalised deliveries. This new consumer mindset severely complicates traditional retail and logistics processes and is reshaping their physical landscapes (Dablanc, 2019; Hagberg et al., 2016). Resultantly, this evolution changed the requirements of service provisions in and around urban areas, challenging local authorities to manage the urban fabric. Recent literature in the fields of consumer behaviour, economic geography and urban logistics recognized these issues and studies the impact hereof (Birkin et al., 2017; Donaldy, 2013; Heitz et al., 2018). Yet, each of these studies remain within the cocoons of established research fields, applying a retail or logistics perspective. The proposed research tackles the mentioned issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, considering retail and logistics as an integrated system and assessing their common impact through a geographical lens. This is done in three steps. First, the evolution of the demand and supply for retail and logistics services is studied. Second, the evolved demand and supply are contrasted by calculating two indices. One indicating omni-channel retail accessibility and another measuring urban retail and logistics performances in the on-demand economy. Third, the work is completed by studying how urban policy makers can better manage the ongoing integration of both sectors in dense urban areas.

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The socio-economic added value of the port of Antwerp for the hinterland. 14/10/2019 - 13/02/2021

Abstract

In 2015 a report was published by the University of Antwerp: "Socio-economic impact of the port of Antwerp on the hinterland". This report was part of a Framework Agreement between the University of Antwerp and the Province of Antwerp. The Antwerp Port Authority, Province of Antwerp and Antwerp University endorse the economic and social importance of the port of Antwerp. For this purpose, the three parties want an up-to-date view of the socio-economic impact of the port of Antwerp and initiate a new research project. The project consists of two work packages. On the one hand, the research wants to shed new light on the employment created in the port perimeter and the consequences for the development of the "Havencentrum" and other future-oriented initiatives for the port region. On the other hand the research wants to increase current knowledge on the economic impact of the different companies in the port region and their collaboration with other companies in Belgium, thereby focusing on economic networks.

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Smart shared green mobility hubs (E-HUBS). 11/01/2019 - 10/01/2022

Abstract

Congestion, pollution and growing urban population in NWE forces us to replace private cars by alternative mobility options. By providing a critical mass of eHUBS (physical cluster of shared electric mobility modes of transport) and make available shared mobility to the end-user, we kickstart the mobility transition. Private car use in cities will decrease. While eHUBS are technically feasible, deployment is hindered because of slow user adaptation, lagging urban planning and legislative/policy hurdles. Critical mass and scalability is key and knowledge transfer is absolutely necessary to remove barriers for local authorities. Partner cities from 5 countries will realize and promote eHUBS and pave the way for others to do the same. There will be eHUBS on strategic locations, connected to other modes (e.g. public transport), but also small eHUBS in living areas. The eHUBS implementation approach will differ per city to create an overall best practice that can easily be applied in other cities and regions. This will result in an additional 1,477 kg tons CO 2 reduction p/y at the project end and 287,022 kg tons CO 2 p/y 10 years later (compared to baseline, incl. replication cities). By kick starting the mobility transition in 6 pilot cities we will set an example for all of NWE. Other cities can benefit from applying the blueprint and copying best practices. A large-scale uptake will cause a leverage by significantly reducing CO2 emissions in the cities and creating a growing market for commercial shared e-mobility providers.

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Responsive sustainable urban logistics - Best practices last mile and co-operation models in city distribution (R!Sult) 01/04/2019 - 31/03/2020

Abstract

This project involves bringing together knowledge on finished, running and planned projects on last mile and more collaborative co-operation models in city distribution, and the state of the art on what moves in this market, in a manner that provides value added to all stakeholders in the project. It involves innovative last mile solutions, but also trends and insights).

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Responsive sustainable urban logistics (R!SULT). 01/03/2019 - 30/09/2020

Abstract

This project proposal treats following research question: RQ: What are the potential sustainable and integrated co-operation models for urban logistics flows, given a certain city? The focus is on testing the sustainable and integrated business cases within the urban logistics context, including all possible types of flows (B2B, B2C, retour, etc.). This proposal attempts to achieve this objective by answering three sub-questions in three consecutive workpackages. In order to test the sustainability of the various business cases, first a data-driven calculation model is drafted. This calculation model should allow comparing the various options objectively. RQ1: What are the most important components of a calculation model for a sustainable urban logistics policy, both on the side of input and output. Recent data on goods flows, within as well as outside cities, is very scarce though. This impedes an objective overview on urban logistics, which makes identifying opportunities more difficult. RQ2: Which goods flows take place in the concerned cities? The findings from the first two workpackages are used next to quantify proposals for pilot projects. These pilot projects have to be executed in the concerned cities and help identifying the barriers between the calculations and the real applications. RQ3: What are the barriers in translating the results of the calculation model into an effective, integrated reorganisation of the urban logistics flows.

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