About Vital Nodes

Vital Nodes aims to enable efficient, sustainable freight delivery across the TEN-T urban nodes (urban areas), by bringing together existing European, national and regional networks.

As a result of increasing freight traffic, these urban nodes need to cope with challenges such as congestion, poor air quality, noise and road safety risks. The objective of the initiatives is to improve European interconnection, while developing sustainable mobility within cities.

Vital Nodes will deliver three major results


Self-sustaining network of networks consisting of experts, end-users and case-owners


Proven Vital Nodes approach for future cases consisting of an enriched and fine-tuned toolbox, an appraisal methodology, a format for workshops, and a deployment strategy


Validated recommendations on integration of urban nodes in TEN-T core network corridors

Vital Nodes delivers evidence-based recommendations for effective and sustainable integration of the nodes into the TEN-T network corridors. It addresses specifically the multi and intermodal connection between long-distance and last-mile freight logistics. It will also support the deployment of innovations in the urban nodes, while establishing a long-lasting European expert network.

The Vital Nodes project is funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme, and will run for 24 months.

TEN-T core network corridors

The TEN-T (the Trans-European Transport Network) is the main action plan for comprehensive transport infrastructure development throughout the European Union. Urban areas are key elements of the TEN-T network and have to respond to growing mobility needs and increasing freight transport by implementing new logistic concepts, ensuring transport modes’ seamless interconnection and accommodate spatial-economic growth and urban expansion (housing, working, facilities). Efficient freight delivery across the nodes into the last-mile is crucial for urban vitality (regarding social, economic and environmental quality of life). However, effective integration of a node in the TEN-T core network corridors is complex. As each urban node has its own specific characteristics and issues, it would be too simplistic to assume that there is a one-size-fits-all solution. Different spatial scales, modalities, sectors and stakeholders are concerned and all have to be taken into account when optimizing the integration of solutions for accessibility and profitability of freight logistics on the one hand with vitality and liveability of urban areas becoming increasingly important on the other.

Starting in Vienna the project launched activities in eight cities and continue with workshops of three cities each. It will culminate in the Urban Nodes Forum, April 2019 in Budapest.

A step-wise growth model

Vital Nodes will develop comprehensive approach to analyse the needs of the urban nodes and develop tools that will be applied in the urban nodes through a step-wise growth model. The project started in the pilot city Vienna and launch activities in eight cities in 2018. In 2019, the project facilitates workshops with three nodes each, before the project spreads to all 88 nodes at the Urban Nodes Forum.

In parallel, activities will be taken-up to create and implement a strategy for making the growing Vital Nodes network a permanent structure and for communicating our project and its results to possible new network members and beyond.

Our Partners

The Vital Nodes consortium is led by Rijkswaterstaat and has 10 partners including transport administrations, city networks, corridor organisations and project consultancies.

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