The growth of freight traffic in inner cities is likely to eventually create serious traffic bottlenecks. Delivery traffic in particular is increasing explosively. In order to keep inner cities accessible and liveable, local authorities are looking for different ways to organise logistics traffic. One approach – inspired by the “superblocks” introduced in Barcelona – involves creating low-traffic areas and routing city’s traffic around them. The principle is a simple one. Big trucks (bigger than at present) bring goods to the edge of the superblock, where the goods are transferred to smaller trucks and taken on to their final destination.
Goudappel Coffeng was commissioned by the Logistics Top Sector and Connekt to carry out a feasibility study of such a logistics system with clustered loading and unloading points. The study also looked at what traffic measures are necessary to guide these urban distribution flows to those points in the most effective and efficient way. Three areas of Amsterdam were considered, each with a different function: Oude Pijp, the Nine Little Streets, and the Indische Buurt.
The current logistics situation was examined on the basis of existing data, including traffic counts, and the Amsterdam transport model. We clarified what is needed to set up a superblock, ranging from traffic measures to route logistics traffic to the transhipment point on time to options for distributing goods within the superblock. From a physical perspective, the concept is feasible. It also offers many advantages, such as a traffic-calmed area and reliable supply system.