Zero-emission packages? There’s a mobility plan for that

22 September 2022

In recent years, online shopping has brought convenience to our doorsteps, but that perk has come at a cost: the more products consumers purchase online, the more delivery vans in the streets, the higher the increase in CO2 emissions.

How to make urban logistics more sustainable? European Mobility Week addresses this issue by identifying ‘Packages’ as one of this year’s main themes.

Luckily, when it comes to making e-commerce more sustainable one doesn’t need to start from scratch – towns like Mechelen are already spearheading change by offering net-zero deliveries via cargo bikes. Led by UlaaDS in cooperation with Eurocities, the project curbed CO2 emissions by 97% and fine particles by 77%.

A cargo bikes in the city of Mechelen
A cargo bikes in Mechelen. Photo by bpost

People, places and packages are all key elements of today’s sustainable mobility, but they can only work together if local authorities act as the ringmasters. The tool to make these parts function seamlessly is the Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan (SUMP), the document defining municipalities’ policy plans and how to implement them in the coming years.

Tampere's tram system
Tampere’s tram system. Photo by Pasi Tiitola

Tampere offers a successful example. In 2021, the city won the Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning award for its efforts to link health and mobility and for its focus on safety, environmental responsibility and accessibility. Read how Tampere convinced judges by promoting residents’ well-being while providing answers to common mobility challenges: How I did it: Tampere’s take on green mobility

When drafting a Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan, cities identify several areas.


A view of Milan's Duomo
A woman cycling near Milan’s Duomo. Photo by dimitrisvetsikas1969

Milan, for instance, is concentrating on digital mobility in an effort to merge different transport operators onto the same online platform. Learn more about how planning a trip, hopping on public transport, booking and driving a shared vehicle, paying for those services, will all be possible in the Italian city thanks to a single app: A digital mobility renaissance in Milan – Eurocities


Daniela Berretta Eurocities Writer