Breakfast with a buzz in Borås

24 October 2022 - Published by Deirdre Buist
For the second year in a row, SURFLOGH partners from the City of Borås recently hosted a Green Breakfast. On 12th September, this stakeholder event provided a great opportunity to discuss the pace of their transition towards a climate-neutral city centre, to review progress since the previous get-together and to envision the urban space of the future. The room was buzzing as many exciting insights emerged.

Almost 50 participants, representing the regional transport and logistics sector, business owners, property owners and the municipality were treated to a summary of what has been happening since their previous meeting.  These important stakeholders in Borås’s ’Good Goods’ concept have become increasingly visible as they work on many different projects to increase road safety, improve shop exposure and create a more attractive, sustainable and liveable  urban environment. Kicking off during 'the most important meal of the day’, SURFLOGH’s  project manager Sara Thiel introduced the  theme for this morning, followed by a range of speakers sharing their specific expertise on the subject.


Sara Thiel, Process Leader for  Logistics Development at the Municipality of Borås,  joins stakeholders at the Green Breakfast  

Changing cityscape 

Sara pointed out that the  cityscape of Borås is changing. ”We need to be aware of the consequences of this urban transformation, prepare and adapt to reach our set ambitions  for sustainable transport and freight. A smooth logistics flow for goods supply is essential. It is important that we consider this on time, and avail of the opportunities for smart and sustainable transport solutions as we design an attractive city for the future.”

City logistics on the agenda

Project partner Jonas Wilderstrom added:”Thanks to the Good Goods concept (trialed in SURFLOGH) and stakeholder engagement meetings such as our Green Breakfasts, city logistics is now higher on the urban development agenda in Borås. The connection between environment-friendlier logistics solutions and the improved quality of urban living is now evident. It goes without saying that this leads to a more attractive city centre.”

Organization & competence 

Sara: "Since the start, the City of Borås has succeeded in building up its organization and competence skills on site. Our approach, both on a strategic and a tactical level, is to create not just better, but also more competitive transport solutions to, from and within the city limits. Through a number of projects and testbeds, every aspect of goods transportation from the port of Gothenburg to Borås  has been looked at."

The contrast is great, according to Jonas.  "Extra long, environmentally efficient, high capacity vehicles on the outskirts make way for small, smart vehicles in the city centre. Hubs, additional electrification and autonomous modes also fit perfectecly with the our sustainable logistics and business goals.”

The future for Borås

Borås is growing, the city is becoming more densley populated and must adapt accordingly. A new high-speed railway is planned and the city centre is slowly spreading over the Viskan river. The future also includes a transition towards climate neutrality, reducing CO2 emissions by 15% per year – that means accelerating and taking some pretty big steps!

Christoffer Widegren gave an interesting presentation on joint collaboration with regards to  creating a future street environment. "In Borås, and some larger Swedish cities, existing neighborhoods and new central areas are becoming more and more crowded – with accommodation and businesses in the same area.  Inner cities are now being designed to increase a sense of well-being, with many centres  currently being zoned for pedestrians only. There will be less space for transport and the handling of goods. Collaboration becomes  key in this new environment, " he said.  


Participants joined in some buzzing roundtable discussions

Discussions and conclusions

The Green Breakfast concluded with a number of roundtable discussions, where priorities were defined for the future of Boras in terms of green solutions for the urban environment.

Top 10 insights:

• Invest more in silent and smaller vehicles for more efficient, collective emptying and loading gains.

• Ensure accessibility for different target groups (residents and business).

• Find a balance. If freight delivery requirements are too strict, there is a risk that many businesses move out of  the inner city.

• Learn from other cities. Collaborate and keep up  the dialogue between different actors to ensure smooth development.

• Mix the  ’carrot and stick’ approach to explain that change must be made - and in the long run benefits everyone.

• Determine which tools are needed for sustainable transport solutions and construction in the inner city.

• Market the Good Goods concept more clearly so stakeholders are familiar with the opportunties to engage.

• Identify smart and sustainable solutions with a viable business model. 

• Communicate transparently with property owners, residents and businesses - avoid ambiguity.

• Divide costs amongst all participants; property owners, business owners, visitors, taxpayers etc.