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Urban Freight for Livable Cities Publication

Now available for download a book based on the papers presented in the 2012 international VREF Future Urban Transport Conference, this book aims to make the freight issue more visible, by sharing experiences and new ideas from across the world. In October 2012, 90 delegates from almost 20 countries all over the world participated in the fifth Future Urban Transport Conference, Urban Freight for Livable Cities, co-organised and hosted by the Volvo Research and Education-al Foundations (VREF), together with AB Volvo and the City of Gothenburg. The conference focused on the difficult and, at times, controversial subject of urban freight, with the overarching goal of contributing to ‘Livable Cities´ by finding new ways of dealing with collaboration and trade-offs. The papers presented in this book are updated contributions from the speakers at the event.

Over the years, the VREF Conferences have been explorative — meaning each conference has been built on lessons learned and experiences from earlier ones. Consequently, the format of the conferences has also changed and developed. The first conference, in 2000, was titled Future Urban Transport; Problems and Solutions and was an academic scientific conference, with each session focused on a specific disciplinary topic. The difficulties of dealing with the complex issue of urban transport in this way led to the articulation of the central theme of the whole Future of Urban Transport (FUT) programme: How to deal with the complexity of urban transport development?

The second and third conferences, in 2003 and 2006, were organised as interdisciplinary and interactive meetings. Important issues were identified and discussed, such as: complexity — can it be managed, and how?; how to assess transferability and non-transferability?, and; what is generic and what is context-specific in urban transport?.

VREF has been eager to understand how knowledge is disseminated. How do practitioners learn from academics, and vice versa? Hence, it was an important step forward when the fourth conference, in 2009, was the first to be co-organised together with practitioners — by AB Volvo and The City of Gothenburg — on the theme Access and Mobility for Cities of Tomorrow. 
In preparing the 2012 conference the International Program Committee (IPC) for the event put Urban Freight Transport at the top of the agenda. The IPC was well aware of the need to be able to deal with short-term as well as longer-term issues, as well as passenger and freight transport simultaneously. The aim was to make the freight issue visible, but in the context of ‘Livable Cities.´

The conference provided interesting insights into the challenges and opportunities facing urban freight. By sharing these insights and new ideas we hope that this book will contribute to addressing the challenges of Urban Freight for Livable Cities.

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Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under Grant Agreement No. 285195