Chapter 23 Environmentally sustainable city logistics: minimising urban freight emissions
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This chapter provides an overview of the environmental impact of logistical activity in urban areas, in particular the levels of pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. The nature and scale of this impact varies with a city’s size, structure, age, planning policies and level of economic development, making generalisation difficult. Macro-level data from several sources is used to assess the environmental impact of urban freight transport and the extent of the emission-reduction challenge. Having defined the problem, the chapter then reviews efforts by public authorities and the private sector to cut these emissions. Most of these initiatives can simultaneously reduce air pollutants, predominantly nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, and greenhouse gases, though some are targeted towards particular externalities. The initiatives are discussed under five headings: switching freight vehicles to cleaner, lower-carbon energy, raising levels of energy efficiency, improving the utilisation of vehicle capacity, increasing the use of less-polluting modes and minimising the amount of urban freight movement. A concluding section reviews data limitations and explores opportunities for future research on this topic.

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