4.1g Feasibility of In-City Logistics Terminals

Project Number


Project Summary

Feasibility of In-City Logistics Terminals

Project Status

In progress



Topic Area

Sustainable Urban Freight

P.I. Name & Address

Director of Research, IFSTTAR, French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development and Networks - University of Paris-East
14-20 boulevard Newton, Cite Descartes
77447 Marne la Vallee cedex 2
Ph.D. candidate
University Paris-Est, IFSTTAR/SPLOTT
14-20 boulevard Newton, Cite Descartes
77447 Marne la Vallee cedex 2

In recent years, public authorities have been more preoccupied by urban sprawl, metropolitan extension and unsustainable development of the city.  Some research works have proved that urban sprawl is also linked to logistics sprawl and the evolution of our way of consumption (e-commerce for example) which have direct effects on goods mobility. In recent years, urban logistics have emerged in public conscious and urban planning. Now public policies see urban logistics as an opportunity to propose solutions to the issues of congestion and pollution in dense urban centers. Some cities, like Paris, are becoming laboratories and experiment with a certain number of solutions in order to develop urban logistics in metropolitan areas. Among these solutions, urban logistics facilities include urban distribution centers (UDC) or urban consolidation centers (UCC). In Paris, several UCC have been experimented with, like Beaugrenelle in the 15th arrondissement and Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement, with a high level of success and interesting results for the city. Today, public authorities try to generalize this kind of urban logistics project in Paris city center. “Chapelle International” is one of the new urban logistics projects in Paris 18th arrondissement. More ambitious than the previous one by its scale and its dimensions, this project is a big challenge for urban planning because it aims to be an example in terms of mixed-use building by including logistics and freight. This study aims to analyze this project as an urban innovation in terms of mixed use realization. But this study also aims to highlight the revival of vertical urban planning for logistics activities and freight. This logistics urbanization takes its roots from the principles of “flagstone urbanism” which is now completely abandoned and seen as a failure.

If Paris is a leader in the metropolitan area in terms of urban logistics solutions like UCC, it is not the only one that tries to innovate in terms of urban logistics. Actually, the Region Ile-de-France and the City of Paris both try to extend their policies and influence in terms of urban planning in the suburbs, in order to develop urban logistics in all dense parts of the metropolitan area as a coordinated system. Several municipalities of the suburbs are currently developing urban logistics projects. For example, the city of Saint-Ouen or the city of Nanterre which are part of the old industrial belt of Paris, would like to convert their industrial wasteland into urban projects for housing and logistics activities.

In this study we will measure the feasibility of in-city logistics terminals in Paris and in its suburb. We will analyze the different projects in order to identify and to measure the integration of logistics activities in the dense part of the metropolitan area. So we will study several logistics urban projects by conducting interviews, fieldwork, and a comprehensive analysis of local urban plans.