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How a SUMP helped the development of a SULP in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands)

By Renske Martijnse / Updated: 13 Oct 2017
Den Bosch Centre

In addition to developing a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, ‘s-Hertogenbosch is updating its Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan (SULP) to incorporate its inner city. By improving and expanding existing logistics measures, the city will create “multi-solution measures” based on a community approach.

Using this approach, policy targets can be combined and support and commitment from stakeholders maximised. Five measures have already been elaborated and a roadmap is in place to gain the necessary political approval for the SULP.

Context 

‘s-Hertogenbosch is a city with 140,000 inhabitants and over 550 shops and businesses. Currently, inner-city traffic is hindered by loading and unloading, which causes congestion and unsafe traffic situations, whilst being a nuisance for shoppers and other visitors. The volume of freight traffic in the inner city also affects its appeal.

The ambition of ’s-Hertogenbosch -  both the municipality and its businesses - is to create a more attractive city for visitors, both economically and otherwise. Smart logistics is an important instrument for achieving this.  

A new and comprehensive SULP is therefore being developed. This covers ’s-Hertogenbosch’s historic inner city: a small (2.5 km2) and dense triangular area with narrow streets. SULP development is the starting point for a process in which stakeholders and decision makers develop a final plan for solutions and the way they will be implemented.

In action 

To achieve the goals of 30% less freight in the inner city and for all logistics operations to be emission free by 2025, the SULP will develop current policies into logistics solutions. This entails a three step process:

  1. Making an inventory of and rating the possible logistic solutions.
  2. Designing and developing the most promising measures.
  3. Providing a road map that leads to political approval and the start of implementation.

‘s-Hertogenbosch is not starting from scratch: a comprehensive sustainable mobility policy has been developed and implemented. Logistics solutions currently in place include a low emission zone for freight, regulations on load factor and time, clean and efficient rubbish collection, and a commercial distribution centre. Baseline data on logistics volume, vehicle flows, and the logistics vehicle fleet is available and being used for SULP development.

The city strongly believes in “multi-solution measures”. Combining policy targets leads to comprehensive, holistic measures, which make it possible to maximise stakeholder support. Based on its SUMP development experience, 's-Hertogenbosch is applying  a community approach in which all main local stakeholders are involved in finding solutions and designing measures.

This co-creation relies on working through an interactive process, rather than the implementation of pre-determined solutions. This way, local knowledge is used, solutions are more comprehensive, and more lasting support is generated.

Results 

The measures

As part of its previous plan, ‘s-Hertogenbosch created an overview of 15 possible logistics solutions for the city. Each was scored with 0, +, or ++ in the fields of CO2, air quality, and suitability/feasibility. The five measures considered the most promising are being elaborated in the SULP. These are all improvements and reinforcements of current measures. As a result, there are detailed descriptions on how to:

  • Promote collective contracts for waste collection and cooperation between waste companies;
  • Increase the use of clean vehicles for rubbish collection;
  • Scale up the city’s existing distribution centre;
  • Use a community approach for logistics, for instance collective contracts for shopkeepers;
  • Improve Park, Ride and Buy facilities by introducing zero emission park and ride shuttles and added purchase-services/pick-up points.

Currently, these measures are being reassesed and expanded.

The roadmap

 The Dutch have a strong culture of reaching a consensus with stakeholders before implementing measures. Although this can be time-consuming, it is considered as an important “investment” in order to create support and save time during implementation. This project’s approach goes one step further. The municipality wants ideas from its shop owners on how to improve their city. As part of the SULP’s revision, a stakeholder process will be put in motion in which priorities and business cases are developed in more detail.

The SULP will be adjusted based on this, with the City Council consulted afterwards. Following this, specific measures will be designed using a community-led process: this includes the planning for and the budget of the measures. These will then be referred to the City Council, who will decide on their implementation.

Challenges, opportunities and transferability 

The main challenges in SULP development are the different levels of the logistics chain that need to be taken into account: from street and neighbourhood to (inner) city and regional levels. The wide diversity of the goods, ranging from perishables, clothing, and construction materials to rubbish, also pose a challenge. Finally, the multitude of actors and stakeholders in and outside the city to consider can be demanding.

City logistics are seen within the context of other challenges the city faces. Marc Pluijgers from ‘s-Hertogenbosch Municipality says that: “Treating urban logistics as part of a holistic approach to urban challenges like noise and liveability has generated good results in one of our neighbourhoods.

It created a shared ambition and resulted in practical agreements with suppliers and between entrepreneurs, such as for rubbish collection. It has been a process led by members of the public (and shop keepers) - the municipality merely encouraged and facilitated it. It has been successful so far, but it’s a marathon, not a sprint”.

In Depth 

To see s-Hertogenbosch’s draft SULP, click here.

To find out more about the ENergy efficiency in City LOgistics Services for small and mid-sized European Historic Towns (ENCLOSE) project, which the SULP was initially developed as part of, click here

As ‘s-Hertogenbosch is currently developing its SUMP, there are no policy documents for reference.

For further information, please contact Marc Pluijgers, ‘s-Hertogenbosch Municipality, m.pluijgers@s-hertogenbosch.nl.

To see s-Hertogenbosch’s draft SULP, click here.

To find out more about the ENergy efficiency in City LOgistics Services for small and mid-sized European Historic Towns (ENCLOSE) project, which the SULP was initially developed as part of, click here

As ‘s-Hertogenbosch is currently developing its SUMP, there are no policy documents for reference.

For further information, please contact Marc Pluijgers, ‘s-Hertogenbosch Municipality, m.pluijgers@s-hertogenbosch.nl.

Image credit: 090-IMG_6021 (from Flickr) by Michael Edson under CC BY 2.0

Region: 
Western Europe
Country: 
Netherlands
12 Oct 2017
13 Oct 2017
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