“How shall the city be sustained with goods and services in the 21st century?”

The city, the polis, is the defining human construct that defines civilisation. The Anthropocene, however defined, has seen cities and city based cultures change the shape of the Earth and yet has stayed remarkably consistent over time. Cities are the powerhouse of social and economic activity, and as such they draw in flows of goods and services to maintain them. These flows, vital as they are to the life of urban citizens, have never been popular, Ancient Rome restricted all goods flows to the night time, and recently good vehicles have had a very negative image in political and social circles. With increasing air quality problems in cities and the recognition that continued absolute rises in carbon emissions from transport are leading to climate change, the need to optimise freight as a sustainable urban activity should be a key part of urban planning & governance, political discourse and engagement as well as logistics operations planning and practice. On the other hand evidence from research over the last two decades shows that policy and politics rarely engages with city freight issues, and this in itself is of note as cause and consequence of the geopolitical nature of human cities.

This session calls for informed presentations on all geopolitical and sociotechnological issues associated with freight in cities. These can be from any part of the geographical domain or associated disciplines and should discuss, address or even answer one, some or all of the following research questions:

How can urban logistics be incorporated into urban planning and governance so as to address sustainability in all of the three pillars, economic, environmental and social?

To what extent do the local governance structures of cities fail to match the operational and commercial realities of logistics in cities, given that most logistic networks are as much regional and international as urban?

Which new social or technological innovations, or revisited old methods, can be deployed to maintain cities in goods and services whilst at the same time optimising the disbenefits? This may be the use of non hydrocarbon vehicles, the use of rail, water, pipelines, local 3D printing, drones, etc. in the technology domain. In the social domain it may be about freight partnerships, regulation, deregulation, incentives, community initiatives, dialogue between democratic and commercial interests. Operationally it may be about consolidation centres, distribution centres, sustainable procurement practices. From a research perspective it may be about urban demand modelling, urban freight activity modelling, monitoring of freight activity etc.

This session will consist of both 15 minute papers with 5 minutes questions and Pecha Kucha presentations of 20 slides of 20 seconds each (6 minutes 40). Submissions should advise on which format they will adopt.

Keywords: Transport, Freight, Policy, Practice, Urban

If you would like to submit a proposed paper for this session please submit the following information to the session convenors Thomas H Zunder, Principal Research Associate, Newcastle University, tom.zunder@ncl.ac.uk and Clare Woroniuk, Research Assistant, Newcastle University, clare.woroniuk@ncl.ac.uk by Wednesday 18th February 2015.

* Title

* Authors, affiliations and email addresses

* Presenter

* Abstract (up to 300 words)

* Style of presentation, PECHA KUCHA 20 slides of 20 seconds, or 15 minutes.

The 2015 RGS-IBG Annual Conference will take place at the University of Exeter from the 2nd-4th September 2015


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