In the Vital Nodes toolbox we collect state-of-the-art models and approaches to assess value – e.g. Social Cost-Benefit Analysis, Life-Cycle Assessment, Environmental Assessment (EIA, SEA) – to create value and capture value in combined infrastructure and spatial development projects. Regarding freight and logistics, the value dimension relates closely to the importance of value-added logistics in urban freight transport chains. An optimised freight transport network links seamlessly the national/regional level with the urban level in transshipment points.
These locations (e.g. Urban Consolidation Centers – UCC) could become viable as value is added to the products transshipped there. More in general, investments in transport infrastructure and logistics enhance accessibility of locations, beneficial to socio-economic development. This should be balanced with the potential negative impact of infrastructures and freight logistic flows at which spatial and environmental quality are important – relating this to the spatial dimension. Better coordination between transport infrastructure, freight logistics and spatial development provides socio-economic value not only within cities (enhanced competitiveness at intra-urban level; of one urban node) but also between cities (at inter-urban level). Urban regions that are well connected by multi-modal infrastructure may act as one big agglomeration providing enhanced competitiveness – they ‘borrow size’ – which is relevant when integrating urban areas and network corridors.