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Periodic Reporting for period 1 - VitalNodes (Building a lasting expert network that delivers evidence-based recommendations for Vital Urban Nodes along TEN-T Corridors)


Building a lasting expert network that delivers evidence-based recommendations for Vital Urban Nodes along TEN-T CorridorsIntroductionThe H2020 project Vital Nodes will build a lasting European network of key stakeholders based on existing European, national and regional...


Building a lasting expert network that delivers evidence-based recommendations for Vital Urban Nodes along TEN-T Corridors

The H2020 project Vital Nodes will build a lasting European network of key stakeholders based on existing European, national and regional networks. This is done by enriching and applying a proven approach for the optimization of economic, social and environmental vitality of urban areas from the perspective of multi-modal transport infrastructure and spatial development (‘Networking for Urban Vitality’, NUVit).

Vital Nodes will deliver evidence-based recommendations for more (cost) efficient and sustainable integration of all 88 urban nodes in the TEN-T network corridors, addressing specifically the multi- and inter-modal connection between long-distance and last-mile freight logistics. These recommendations will be validated by applying an appraisal tool and involving experts from the growing Vital Nodes network.

Challenges in integrating freight logistics of urban nodes into network corridors have a multidimensional character: not only network issues of the (freight logistic) transport and mobility system have to be considered, also spatial issues related to urban vitality (socio-economic development, spatial and environmental quality and livability) have to be addressed, as well as issues of short-term and long-term development, value creation and capturing issues, multi-level governance and institutional issues, and issues related to implementation. This calls for an integrated approach (see Figure 1).

To address this need for an integrated approach, Vital Nodes project is designed to meet the following two main objectives:
1. to deliver validated recommendations for a more effective and sustainable integration of all 88 urban nodes into the TEN-T corridors focusing on freight logistics.
2. to establish a long-lasting European expert network based on existing (inter)national and regional networks for safeguarding long-term continuity in knowledge and implementation.

First, the recommendations address a more (cost-) efficient and sustainable integration of long-distance and last-mile freight delivery and logistics in urban areas, also taking into account passenger transport flows. Vital Nodes will collect best practices, experiences and opportunities as well as deploying novel
combinations of existing technologies and services.

Second, Vital Nodes will bring existing networks together and create a ‘network of networks’ for ensuring long-term engagement and successful implementation. Through test cases, experts from different European networks and European Initiatives and platforms will be brought together.

Work performed

Results so far
The Vital Nodes Advisory Board has been installed. Within the Vital Nodes project the Board will be asked to periodically reflect on the project’s activities, the (preliminary) results, and to attend the yearly conference. After the project’s closure, the Advisory Board will be reshaped into a high-level steering group of the Vital Nodes Network that will supported by the Vital Nodes Secretariat.

In the first six months of the project nine workshops were organised in eight different urban nodes. The workshops started in the ‘Pilotcase’ Vienna. The information and results gathered from these workshops were valuable information for the validated recommendations on the integration of the 8 individual urban nodes in the TEN-T network. The outcome of the workshops were also valuable information for the preliminary recommendations for CEF/TEN-T guidelines, future research needs and funding (in relation to FP9) which provides the EC and urban nodes clear insights in research and funding needs to stimulate the sustainable integration of urban nodes into the TEN-T network.

A report is made of solutions and their (potential) impact and gives an complete overview of good practices and their (potential) impacts, which could be coined as a ‘catalogue’ of solutions and their impacts. These practices are based upon desk research, elaboration and validation before, during and after workshops as well as on Polis and EUROCITIES conferences and focus groups.

Furthermore, a synthesis document for nine urban node including grouping of solutions is made which builds further on the analysis of challenges on solutions. This document aims to group the solutions captured in the research phase regarding the tier 1 urban nodes. The solutions from different urban nodes have very different origins and scope, therefore a methodology for grouping is developed. The grouping criteria are based on the synthesis of challenges they jointly tackle but also on the (potential) impacts of these solutions.

At the TEN-T days 2018 in Ljubljana a successful Vital Nodes masterclass was organised in close cooperation with the EC. Urban nodes representatives, public and private stakeholders and infrastructure operators had the opportunity to test the Vital Nodes methodology and explore critical issues in innovation deployment, investment and integration in urban nodes. Valuable information is gathered and connections have been made. Also a policy dialogue was organised established a robust policy dialogue with the EU institutions for strengthening urban nodes as integral parts of TEN-T Corridors.

Final results

Through these activities, Vital Nodes will deliver three major results:
1. a self-sustaining ‘network of networks’ consisting of experts, end-users and case-owners;
2. a proven Vital Nodes approach for future cases consisting of an enriched and fine-tuned toolbox, an appraisal methodology, and a format for workshops and deployment strategy;
3. validated recommendations on integration of urban nodes in TEN-T core network corridors.

The impact of the Vital Nodes project is that there is a good start for a better and more effective integration of urban nodes into TEN-T corridors which address issues around integration of efficient and sustainable (e.g. using alternative fuel vehicles) solutions for \'last mile\' delivery; greater use of intermodal urban freight logistics, and approaches for linking long-distance with last-mile freight delivery in urban areas. The efficient and effective integration of urban nodes into TEN-T corridors requires further research and innovation efforts for the development and related recommendations for deployment of innovative solutions in urban areas.

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