Public consultations in Groningen City

23 September 2020 - Published by Deirdre Buist
Groningen wants to create a safe, clean and attractive city centre - with enough space for everyone . As the Streets are increasingly busier, fuller and congested, the Municipality must find smart, spatial solutions. By designing measures to organize city logistics more efficiently and with less inconvenience, they aim to solve a big piece of the puzzle.

During a series of public consultations, our Surflogh partners presented their vision for sustainable city logistics so that citizens and stakeholders were given the opportunity to react to the proposals and provide feedback. This resulted in some valuable insights into alternative perspectives regarding the challenges and limitations of what can be achieved within the constraints of set frameworks.

Zero-emission zones

The range of measures include the creation of “zero emission zones” (ZE zone) leading to the prohibtion of  petrol/diesel trucks or delivery vans in such a designated zone in 2025. Supplying shops and restaurants, waste collection and construction, event traffic etc. must all be done with electric, hydrogen or ' muscle-powered' (cargobike) vehicles.


Delivery time windows

Another measure focuses on delivery time windows. These are currently in place in parts of the city centre. Freight and delivery traffic is only allowed to drive here in the morning. An exemption is required outside these times. This restriction wil be expanded to include the whole inner city area in 2022.  From then on, the same rules for loading and unloading will apply to all businesses in the city centre.

Pilots & hubs

In addition, the Municipality has developed a number of experiments with entrepreneurs within the Surflogh project and  trials are underway combining 'hubs', lockers and electric cargo bicycles.

These measures will impact city life for the citizens of Groningen and will have consquences for businesses and entrepreneurs. The public consultation evenings have made it clear that the challenges are complex and there are no easy solutions. However, open discussions create stronger and more widespread support for jointly formulated plans.

The vision presented by the City of Groningen announces some big changes. Change never comes easy but the benefits of the proposed plans for greening logistics in the inner city should far outway the struggle to adapt.