Sep 26, 2023

Urban Logistics Innovation Day 2023 – 26th September 2023

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

Decarbonizing Urban Freight: Urban Logistics Innovation Day 2023

Urban freight transport has been on a steady rise, fueled by the surge in e-commerce and commercial activities within cities. However, with this growth comes the pressing need to address the environmental and efficiency challenges associated with it. In response, the inaugural “Urban Logistics Innovation Day #1,” held on September 26th, 2023, in Brussels, served as a beacon of innovation and collaboration in the quest for sustainable urban logistics solutions.


Urban logistics stakeholders, ranging from policymakers to industry experts, converged at the event to explore innovative strategies for decarbonizing urban freight transport and enhancing its efficiency. Against the backdrop of escalating urbanization and environmental concerns, the event aimed to foster dialogue, showcase pioneering solutions, and catalyze partnerships to drive sustainable urban logistics practices.

Objectives of the event

The event had a comprehensive agenda, driven by the following key objectives:

  1. Showcasing Innovative Solutions: A primary focus was on highlighting groundbreaking solutions developed under the LEAD project, aiming to decarbonize urban freight transport and promote sustainability. Participants had the opportunity to explore these solutions and identify pathways for their practical implementation.
  2. Fostering Collaboration: The event provided a platform for ongoing innovative projects, such as MOVE21, ULaaDs, SENATOR, GREEN-LOG, URBANE, DECARBOMILE, and DISCO, to converge and collaborate. By facilitating dialogue and cooperation among diverse initiatives, the event aimed to unlock synergies and accelerate progress towards sustainable urban logistics.
  3. Enhancing Dialogue: Recognizing the importance of constructive dialogue between public and private sectors, the event facilitated discussions to improve the sustainability of urban freight transport. Through shared insights and collaborative efforts, participants sought to address common challenges and advance sustainable solutions.

Event Agenda Highlights

The Urban Logistics Innovation Day #1 featured a dynamic agenda, comprising plenary sessions, break-out sessions, and interactive discussions. Noteworthy highlights from the agenda included:

  • Keynote Speeches: Irene Blázquez Jiménez, representing EMT Madrid and the Coordinator of LEAD, welcomed participants to the event. Keynote speeches were delivered by Paola Chiarini from DG MOVE – European Commission, and Pedro Fernández, Head of Department: Planning and Infrastructure, City of Madrid, setting the tone for the day’s discussions. Download Presentation
  • Insights from Industry Leaders: Participants gained valuable insights into IKEA’s sustainable mobility vision and zero-emission delivery solutions through a session chaired by Cláudia Ribeiro from POLIS, featuring Raphael Guillard and John Neven from IKEA Group. Download Presentation
  • Plenary Session on Digital Twins: Carolina Ciprés from Zaragoza Logistics Centre led a session on the LEAD story, focusing on digital twins for low-emission last-mile logistics. Presentations included insights into living labs as innovation accelerators, the LEAD Digital Twinning Platform, and sustainable city logistics evaluation platforms. Download Presentation
  • Break-out Sessions: Participants had the opportunity to delve deeper into specific topics through breakout sessions. These sessions covered diverse themes such as digital twins, consumer engagement, sustainability of urban freight, zero-emission vehicles, support infrastructure, and urban space optimization.

Break-out Session I A: Digital Twins & What If Scenarios

Moderated by Claudia Ribeiro (POLIS)


Attendees witnessed a live demonstration by Andreas Alexopoulos from INLECOM – LEAD, showcasing how digital twins optimize urban logistics operations using the LEAD platform.

Following the demonstration, insightful presentations unfolded:

  • The LIAISON Platform: Dimitra Politaki and Sebastian Hörl from IRT SYSTEMX Download Presentation– LEAD introduced the LIAISON platform, fostering collaboration among LEAD Lyon and DISCO Copenhagen Living Lab to enhance sustainability in urban logistics. Download Presentation
  • URBANE: Dimitris Rizopoulos from INLECOM unveiled URBANE, elevating green urban logistics solutions to scale, driving sustainability in city logistics. Download Presentation
  • DT4Regions & Living-in.EU: Giacomo Lozzi from the European Network of Living Labs illustrated the European approach to digital transformation in urban settings, showcasing initiatives like DT4Regions and Living-in.EU. Download Presentation

Break-out Session I B: Consumer Engagement & Sustainability of Urban Freight

Moderated by Yanying Li (ALICE)


This session provided a platform to explore how consumer engagement strategies can drive sustainability in urban freight.

The session unfolded as follows:

  • Presentation: Jose Manuel Vassallo, Professor at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid – LEAD, introduced the Sustainability score of urban freight using the STAR Logistics Model. This presentation offered insights into assessing and improving the sustainability of urban freight operations. Download Presentation
  • Panel Discussion: A dynamic panel discussion ensued, featuring industry experts:
    • Hans Schurmans, Director of Logistics at Proximus & Co-Chair Urban Logistics at ALICE,
    • Artur Drenk, Director of Sustainability Europe at UPS,
    • Carolina Ciprés, Director of Research at Zaragoza Logistics Centre – LEAD, 
    • Josephine Darlington, Head of ASTER – Alliance for Sustainable E-commerce.

The panelists shared perspectives on consumer engagement strategies and their impact on sustainability in urban freight. Through discussions and shared insights, participants gained valuable perspectives on driving sustainable practices in urban logistics while meeting consumer demands.


Break-out Session II A: Zero Emission Vehicles and Support Infrastructure for the Last-Mile

Moderated by Catherine Ittner (C40)

This session explored strategies to transition to zero-emission vehicles and develop the necessary infrastructure for sustainable last-mile delivery.

  • Presentations: Speakers provided insights into various initiatives and technologies driving zero-emission last-mile delivery: 
    • To start the panel, Catherine Ittner introduced C40, its vision and its activities. Download Presentation
    • Marlos Silva from SONAE MC – LEAD discussed the conversion of retail stores into electric vehicle charging stations, highlighting innovative approaches to support the deployment of zero-emission vehicles.
    • Arianna Americo from EUROCITIES – ULaaDS shared insights into zero-emission vehicles and support infrastructure for the last-mile, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in building sustainable urban logistics ecosystems. Download Presentation
    • Lorena Axinte, Senior Mobility Consultant at Bax & Company – URBANIZED, presented flexible solutions for urban zero-emissions last-mile delivery and service vehicles, showcasing adaptable approaches to meet evolving urban logistics needs. Download Presentation
  • Panel Discussion: A diverse panel of experts enriched the discussion:
    • Veronica Oppici, Transport and Mobility Planner at Agenzia Mobilità Ambiente e Territorio Milano, Download Presentation
    • Pierre Fils, Programme Manager Urban Logistics at BPOST/Vice-chair Urban Logistics at ALICE, Download Presentation
    • Magnus Blinge from SCANIA/Vice-chair Urban Logistics at ALICE. Download Presentation

The panelists explored the challenges and opportunities associated with zero-emission last-mile delivery, offering valuable insights into policy, technology, and infrastructure considerations.


Break-out Session II B: Discussion on Urban Space

Moderated by Raffaele Vergnani (POLIS)

This session explored innovative approaches to optimizing urban space and aligning it with sustainable urban logistics practices.

  • Presentations: Speakers provided insights into initiatives and projects focusing on urban space optimization and its alignment with sustainable urban logistics:
    • Sergio Fernández Balaguer, Head of Department at EMT Madrid – LEAD, presented a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for a Micro-hub in Madrid, showcasing collaborative efforts to optimize urban space for efficient freight operations. Download Presentation
    • Edell Cashin, Project Manager at Dublin City Council – SENATOR, discussed urban space optimization and its alignment with sustainable urban logistics, highlighting practical strategies to enhance urban livability while supporting freight mobility. Download Presentation
    • Patrycjusz Bubilek, Project Manager at Oslo Living Lab – MOVE21, presented the Urban Logistics Centre in Oslo, offering insights into innovative approaches to urban space management and freight distribution in urban environments. Download Presentation
    • Paola Cossu from DISCO/Co-Chair Urban Logistics at ALICE shared insights into the flexible use of urban space, emphasizing the importance of adaptable infrastructure to meet the evolving needs of urban logistics. Download Presentation

The panelists delved into the complexities of urban space management and its implications for sustainable urban logistics, offering diverse perspectives and practical recommendations.



  • Closing Session: The event concluded with a roundtable discussion on innovation uptake and policy recommendations, moderated by Yanying Li (ALICE).
    Participants discussed translating project outcomes into innovative measures, integrating digital tools with sustainable urban logistics plans, extending the lifespan of living labs, and ensuring the delivery of expected impacts from research and innovation projects. The panel of speakers included:

  • Paola Cossu, CEO, FIT Consulting, Co-Chair of ALICE Urban Logistics Thematic Group
  • Zeljko Jeftic, Director Autonomous Electric Transports at Einride/Vice-Chair of ALICE Low-Emission Vehicles Thematic Group
  • Raffaele Vergnani, Project Manager and Coordinator Working Group Urban Freight, POLIS
  • Johan Leveque, Head of R&D department, La Poste Group, Vice-Chair of ALICE Urban Logistics Thematic Group
  • Simon Dehouck, Green Deal Urban Logistics Coordinator, Brussels Capital Region
  • Theo Thuis, Managing Director Innovation Q-Park, Chair of the European Parking Association (EPA) Scientific and Technical Committee


The Urban Logistics Innovation Day #1 served as a catalyst for collaboration, innovation, and dialogue in the quest for sustainable urban freight transport between cities and businesses. Through dynamic discussions, insightful presentations, and interactive sessions, participants explored cutting-edge solutions, fostered partnerships, and exchanged best practices to address the challenges of decarbonizing urban logistics.

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