Four Pilots to Improve Logistics Across Europe Within the FlexCurb Project
FlexCurb, a project co-funded by EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union, and intended to improve logistics management, has introduced 4 living labs in 4 cities: Leuven, Funchal, Strasbourg and Toulouse with the objective to identify, collect and understand more about parking areas and solve problems occurring in those areas. This better understanding will help minimize conflicts over pedestrian zones and unwanted cargo parking and make last mile deliveries more efficient.
The project covers the following aspects to be tested in these pilots:
Scope 1: Inventory and visualization app
- A full inventory of curb and parking regulations will be implemented for the entire municipality through the FlexCurb Planning Platform.
- The regulations related to parking and loading zones for freight vehicles for the entire municipality will be made available through the FlexCurb Driver App.
Scope 2: FlexCurb Zones
- A subset of loading zones in the city core will be designated as FlexCurb Zones where drivers will check-in using the Driver App.
Scope 3: Sensor Integration
- Occupation data from the existing parking sensors will be aggregated into the Planning Platform.
- Sensor data will be compared with activity data from the Driver App to obtain complementary analytics
Leuven Living Lab
The first of the living labs has been set in the city of Leuven, which has around 100,000 inhabitants. It houses Belgium’s largest university and is a major research center. The main issue the city is facing is a conflict of usage between many stakeholders (private vehicles, delivery vans, public transport, etc…). In addition, there are multiple types of parking in an unstructured planning approach. The rules for loading and unloading in the city differ across the zones. Finally, timeframes for deliveries are limited, increasing the pressure on drivers.
The Leuven living lab covers:
- Scope 1: Inventory and visualization application.
- Scope 2: FlexCurb Zones – 33 Shop & Go parking zones will be repurposed as FlexCurb Zones for the pilot. The surrounding current loading/unloading zones will also be used in the project.
Funchal Living Lab
Funchal is the capital and largest city of the Madeira archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, with around 100,000 inhabitants. It is a center of international tourism with great historical value.
Within this context, illegal parking of freight vehicles is one of Funchal’s main challenges concerning #last-mile logistics and #curb regulation enforcement. In addition, delivery drivers largely exceeds the maximum allowed time to perform their loading/unloading tasks, creating more congestion in the urban core.
The Funchal Living Lab will cover the next scopes:
- Scope 1: Inventory and visualization app
- Scope 2: FlexCurb Zones
- Scope 3: Sensor Integration – Occupation data from the existing 179 parking sensors will be aggregated into the Planning Platform.
Strasbourg Living Lab
Strasbourg is a French city with around 280.000 inhabitants. The city center, Grande Île (Big Island) is mainly a pedestrian and touristic area concentrating more than 3,000 daily deliveries and pick-ups in an area of about 1 km2. It handles many goods, people and flows, making them a major player for curbside management.
The city’s main challenges are increased congestion, blocked public spaces, and air and noise pollution, leading to health problems. There is also an inability to manage the sidewalk and the challenges of implementing a new low emission zone.
The Strasbourg Living Lab will have the following aspects.
- Scope 1: Inventory and visualization app
- Scope 2: FlexCurb Zones – Some designated curb sections in the Grande Île will be repurposed as FlexCurb Zones, where drivers will check-in using the Driver App.
Toulouse Living Lab
Toulouse Métropole is a French metropolitan region consisting of 37 cities and around 1,000,000 inhabitants.
Delivery vehicles travel more than 2,000,000 kilometers per week. However, public space is contested by various activities, and illegal parking in delivery areas remains a considerable problem; Approximately 25% of unloading operations take place in double-lane parking lots. While creating a SULP, a municipal regulation that imposes restrictions on logistics operations based on time of day and vehicle characteristics, is being developed.
The FlexCurb pilot will take place in the hypercenter of Toulouse (70,000 inhabitants and 180,000 logistics movements per day approximately).
The following aspects will be covered in the pilot:
- Scope 1: Inventory and visualization application
- Scope 2: FlexCurb Zones – There are about 276 charging zones within the hypercenter area. Toulouse Métropole designated a subset of these curbside sections for reuse as FlexCurb Zones, where drivers will register using the Driver app.
The project is under development and is expected to be completed by the end of November. This series of living labs will be used to test and improve the platform to achieve better efficiency and refinement of outputs.
If you want to know more about the FlexCurb project, you can visit the project website here: https://urbanradar.io/flex-curb/
The partners involved in the project are CTAG, Urban Radar, CARNET, Ghent University, the city of Funchal, Toulouse Métropole, Ville et Eurométropole de Strasbourg, city of Leuven, POLIS Network, and FIT Consulting.