15/04/2021 Online

Launch event of SURF, the new project on Sustainable URban Freight


POLIS has launched a new project, SURF (Sustainable URban Freight), that will guide city planners, business leaders and other freight decision-makers to develop a vision and strategy pathway for sustainable urban freight.

The project is a collaboration with Environmental Defense Fund Europe, one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations that is working to turn environmental solutions into action. Taking place between April and December 2021, the project will particularly focus on the design and implementation of Zero-Emission Zones for freight (ZEZ-Fs), which can dramatically reduce carbon emissions and contribute to healthier cities.

The launch event took place on 15 April. Click here to watch the event again. 


  • Welcome statements
    • Jill Duggan, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund Europe
    • Ivo Cré, Director Policy & Projects, POLIS
  • Introduction to the SURF project, Sandra Rothbard, SURF project manager
    • Presentation of the e-course and other Capacity Building activities
    • Instant projects: launch of call for proposals
  • The city perspective: local authorities presenting their plans and actions
  • Q&A session



The Call for instant projects is open to local authorities and any public authority with a competence in local transport to identify or test elements of a ZEZ-F that would be needed for success. The deadline for application is 14 May.

The Call for experts is open to experts qualified to carry out training, studies, on-demand technical assistance for city planners, business leaders and other freight decision-makers. The call stays open during the project.



Building upon the How-to Guide on Zero-Emission Zones for Freight, a joint effort of POLIS, TDA and C40, the SURF project develops and structures knowledge and awareness. SURF will also build practice and partnerships to launch innovative solutions and measures for the decarbonisation of the freight sector, with a focus on urban logistics.

Activities will consist of:

  • ZEZ awareness raising and capacity building: The project will develop a series of e-learning and peer-to-peer activities to develop, implement and operate ZEZ-F
  • Instant projects and studies: the project will select European cities to develop concrete and tailored instant projects and studies which will help them advance towards the adoption of a roadmap for ZEZ-Fs.
  • Scaling insights: through policy recommendations, the project will promote the opportunities for action and expected impacts of those actions towards cities, regions and logistics stakeholders.


If you have any questions, please contact the SURF project manager Sandra Rothbard (sandra@freightmatters.org) or the POLIS Urban Freight Coordinator Giacomo Lozzi (glozzi@polisnetwork.eu).