In The Media

Solving Urban Freight Challenges With Strategic Land Use Planning

Parisian Zoning Changes Offer One Solution for Delivery Challenges

The rise of e-commerce and increased package delivery has meant logistical challenges for communities across the globe. Delivery trucks and freight deliveries can quickly lead to congestion, especially in older, denser cities. Writing in Planning Magazine, Senior Transportation Planner Dan Haake, AICP, described how Paris has found success using land use policies to address these challenges.

Building on a regional strategy to solve urban freight concerns, the L’Atelier Parisen d’Urbanisme (Paris Urbanism Agency) created a citywide logistics plan built around strategically located multimodal logistics terminals, cross-docking terminals and storage lockers for pickups. Placing these facilities in specific locations helps minimize large truck traffic on historic streets.

One such cross-docking terminal is the Chapelle Internationale Logistics Hotel, opened in April 2018 in an affluent part of the city. At the multistory facility, large truck shipments are distributed to smaller, clean-energy vehicles for final delivery. The building, which is deliberately integrated into the neighborhood, also serves as a charging station for electric delivery trucks.

Importantly, Haake writes, the city has also deemed warehouses and cross-docking facilities “necessary equipment,” (i.e., deeming them a protected public use like parks) ensuring that they are incorporated into future developments and protecting current warehouses from redevelopment. Urban freight movement remains a complicated challenge, but Paris’ example shows that smart land-use policy and planning can provide relief.

Read "Land-Use Plans for Freight in Paris" from the April 2020 issue of Planning, the magazine of the American Planning Association. Republished with permission.

Freight Planning Section Leader