Urban Node


Country: France Population: 270 thousand

The official seat of the European Parliament, Strasbourg, is an important hub of road, rail, and river transportation. The port of Strasbourg is the second largest on the Rhine, connecting it to the North Sea via the urban node Rotterdam.

Strasbourg has been selected for the focus phase of Vital Nodes. The exchange during the workshop in Strasbourg focused on freight and logistics, taking into account infrastructure planning and spatial planning while aiming for a more sustainable and efficient integration of the urban node Strasbourg on the TEN-T core network corridors.

During the workshop, the main challenges discussed, amongst others, were:

  • The conciliation between urban development and the need for infrastructure and logistics equipment – which nuisances are acceptable close to the city and what are advantages;
  • Integration of mass transport in the supply chain and the challenges arising from it – for example data and privacy management / interoperability of information systems.

Besides zooming in on these challenges, the discussion brought up interesting insights and good practices. Examples are:

  • Involvement of inhabitants in the ‘uberisation’ of freight by using the existing flows in order to ship parcels from one place to the other;
  • Cross-border collaboration between the port of Strasbourg and the port of Kehl in order to facilitate efficient handling of goods by introducing an IT system;
  • Increasing (wish for) collaboration between the public and the private sector.

Takeaways from the workshop are, amongst others:

  • The importance to connect different TEN-T corridors (Strasbourg being located on 4 core corridors);
  • Future perspective on greening of the fleet and e-vehicles;
  • Integrated projects, by addressing soft infrastructure and urban (infrastructure) projects as well, and a mix of money from the different directorates of the European Commission;
  • Importance of collaboration, with involved inhabitants, regional, amongst different countries and with different ports as Strasbourg and Kehl;
  • The wish for short term solutions and/or facilities to bridge the period between addressing the challenges and implementation of EU-regulations/big EU-projects.

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