Senter for klima og energiomstilling (CET)


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Research projects


The project provides authorities with concrete evaluation tools for regulating freight transportation in smaller cities.

illustration with ships and cranes and trucks


Urban population growth is driving an increase in the amount of freight that goes into and out of cities. That growth poses an increasing challenge to freight transportation in smaller compact cities with difficult topology, which is typical for most Norwegian cities and numerous cities abroad. This transportation challenge is exacerbated by phenomena such as an increase in internet trade, the demand for fast delivery, and a reduction in the ownership of private cars in the city centre which could be used for shopping. The result is an increase in the total volume of freight, and more critically, in the total number of deliveries, normally managed by a large variety of transportation companies. Unless planned for and regulated, a consequence might be increased traffic, with enhanced energy consumption, that competes for available space and may affect living conditions for a growing urban population. Hence, to respond to this challenge, public authorities need to search for innovative ways to handle the substantial increase in the number of deliveries.

CITYFREIGHT provides authorities with concrete evaluation tools for regulating freight transportation in smaller cities, as there is little practical knowledge available in the literature. It makes substantial contribution through its close connection between academia and the authorities responsible for city developments and regulations. Our focus is different from much of the logistics literature, where the focus is on running a city logistics system as a business idea. Instead we focus on the role of the authorities, and we analyse real cases to the benefit of the City of Bergen and as a genuine test of the tools. Co-producing knowledge with user partners and stakeholders means that we will be able to use experiences of non-academic collaborators to improve knowledge for both science and for society.

Project objectives

The primary objective is to provide public authorities, particularly in smaller, topologically complicated, cities and initially the City of Bergen, with a toolbox for realistically evaluating major decisions that would make a city more energy efficient and sustainable in terms of freight transportation.

Secondary goals are to 1) model freight transportation in a city at a level of detail that makes it possible to make political decisions based on a realistic understanding of how transportation companies will react to different regulations for freight logistics activities. 2) get an overview of existing legal frameworks, identify barriers and propose changes. 3) understand how citizens will react to the effects of different regulations. 4) build capacity through co-production of knowledge within relevant public and private sector organizations. 5) Bring other cities than Bergen into the discussions using the City of Bergen as a vehicle.

Outcomes and impact

CITYFREIGHT will significantly improve the competence base for sustainable logistics operations in small and medium-sized cities, in Norway and beyond. By working closely with authorities, other user partners and stakeholders, our research will generate realistic ways to implement a more resource efficient city logistics, building bridges between that theory and realistic and context-sensitive application. The key core mechanism for ensuring that this has impact is the integration of a panel of relevant user partners in knowledge production and exchange, as well as a set of communication activities with these partners. In addition, our actual use of the model in Bergen, performed together with the user partners, will provide a basis for making important decisions on freight in the city. The tool box generated by the project will be presented to user partners in Bergen, and to other relevant cities in Norway and beyond, including through an online portal.

Work packages

WP1: Mapping governance challenges for sustainable city logistics. Responsible: Håvard Haarstad.

WP2: Data collection and handling: Responsible: Goez.

WP3: Modelling logistics problems: Responsible: Stein Wallace.

WP4: Citizen perceptions and public opinion. Responsible: UiB.

WP5: Administration, communication, and user partner coordination. Responsible: Stein Wallace.


Rosales, R. & Haarstad, H. (2022) Governance challenges for urban logistics: Lessons from three Norwegian cities. Environmental Policy and Governance, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/eet.2015

Wang, Q. & Wallace, S. (2022) Non-compliance in transit-based evacuation pick-up point assignments. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 82, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.seps.2022.101259

Zhang, D., Wallace, S. W., Guo, Z., Dong, Y., & Kaut, M. (2021) On scenario construction for stochastic shortest path problems in real road networks. Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, 152, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tre.2021.102410