The project UrbFRail enables spatial and transport planners to create and revitalise freight rail hubs to improve last-mile transport in inner parts of the cities.
During the past 30 years, inner-urban freight rail transport dramatically lost importance due to de-industrialization following the collapse of socialist countries and commercialisation of rail transport, leaving inner-urban freight rail infrastructure largely unexploited. With the growing need to reduce carbon emissions in transport, these areas are getting into focus again, to shift goods from road to rail and to make last mile transport more sustainable. The development of inner-urban freight rail hubs is a complex issue, as a number of requirements have to be met, e.g. related to infrastructure, spatial planning, economic feasibility as well as financing and governance. Political decisions that may involve substantial public investments, require to be well prepared development concept and process. With inner-urban freight rail transport having been out of the focus for the last 30 years, planners are lacking expertise and guidance is needed. This challenge is addressed by UrbFRail by developing a set of tool that will enable spatial and transport planners to select suitable areas for freight rail hubs and to foster their revitalisation: the urban freight rail screening and the urban freight rail development tool. Both tools will be designed to get applied to similar cases with the possibility to adopt them. Via a Urban Rail Freight Learning Platform, planners will be able to access the tool and to use it in their daily work.
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