Major metropolitan areas, with their high concentration of jobs, dwellings, businesses and visitors, require a huge number of flows to function. While we may have witnessed progress over time in passenger mobility, with fewer individual motorized trips and an increased use of public transit and active modes of travel such as cycling, the picture is different for the mobility of goods: dominated by road transport, with increases in traffic bound up with new forms of consumption. Examining the situation more closely, two contrary forces are found to be at work: a drive towards pooling and rationalization among the bigger players, but fragmentation and multiplication of flows among the smaller ones, such as instant delivery enabled by mobile applications.
The logistical ecosystem responds to meet the demands made of it: we get delivered, stores attract crowds, restaurateurs cook, and materials get delivered to construction sites. But at the cost of increases in pollution, congestion and the unpleasantness of work.
Communities and businesses today are innovating to find solutions: toughening up access regulations, mobilizing property to serve logistics in urban areas, new forms of organization, calls for innovation, pooling of flows, intelligent solutions to the delivery of parcels to individuals. There is no single solution, but a set of avenues that take into account the diversity of urban fabrics and are tailored to the fifty or so economic sectors that are present in cities. Somewhere between rusticity and innovation, we put forward a panorama of ecological economic solutions for consideration.