POLIS and ALICE reinforce their strategic collaboration at #POLIS23
On 30 November 2023, at the POLIS Conference 2023 in Leuven (Belgium), POLIS and ALICE formalised an important step forward in their strategic collaboration.
POLIS Secretary-General Karen Vancluysen and Paola Cossu and Hans Schurmans, Urban Logistics Co-Chairs at ALICE, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, as the two networks are engaged more than ever to make urban logistics greener and more efficient.
Local authorities have recently developed a growing awareness of the crucial role that freight transport and logistics play within the urban mobility system. Cities need to engage with logistics players and businesses to come up with innovative strategies reconciling two potential conflicts such as a freight distribution system satisfying the market demand, and a liveable, emission-free urban environment.
To tackle this, a strategic discussion has been in place between POLIS and ALICE since 2019. which has resulted in a strong and well-recognised alliance between the two organisations over the years. The common vision of this venture is to support each other’s members to accelerate the transition as fast as and as effectively as possible by continuous gathering and sharing of initiatives, and networking activities facilitating collaboration. Both organizations want to be at the forefront of urban transformation, proactively addressing issues with pollution, traffic, safety, and the environment through urban freight and logistics.
At the POLIS Conference 2021, the first milestone of the strategic dialogue was achieved, with the release of the joint Guide 'Advancing together towards zero emissions urban logistics by 2030'. It aims to bring together the views of a wide range of stakeholders and experts to guide local and regional authorities, national and EU governments, companies, civil society, and citizens in their contribution to more sustainable and liveable cities.
At the same time, the European Commission shows a clear interest in sustainable solutions for urban freight and logistics. ALICE and POLIS are playing a key role in supporting EU Services in such a process, as the leading and influential reference for cooperation between cities, regions and companies. The two networks – along with ACEA – are co-leading the subgroup on urban logistics within the Expert Group on Urban Mobility (EGUM), set up by the EU Commission at the end of 2022, with the objective to provide recommendations to EU Services to implement the 2021 Urban Mobility Framework.
The MoU signed today paves the way to honour this successful venture, formalise and further enable close and structural cooperation between the two organisations and their respective members, and highlight a series of joint actions and commitment for the years to come, among which:
- continue to share knowledge and promote innovation in the field of urban freight and road freight decarbonisation in cities and regions, via joint webinars every year and in-person round tables between local authorities and the private sector;
- update the POLIS – ALICE Joint Guide at regular intervals with the latest insights from Research & Innovation projects and work carried out by respective ALICE and POLIS members;
- set up 'Urban Logistics Innovation Days' as a key and recurrent yearly event in the EU agenda for policy makers, planners, retailers, and logistics operators.