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Sustainable road freight in port cities: Aberdeen and Civitas Portis.

Hood, Caroline; Laing, Richard; Gray, David; Burrows, Neale; Dickson, Rab; Robinson, Amye


Richard Laing

Neale Burrows

Rab Dickson

Amye Robinson


The CIVITAS PORTIS (PORT-cities: Innovation for Sustainability) Project is a Horizon 2020 initiative concerned with the design, demonstration and evaluation of integrated packages of sustainable mobility measures in five major port cities in Europe. The intended purpose of the project is to demonstrate that both function and social cohesion between city centres and ports can be increased through sustainable mobility. Within the context of the PORTIS project, Aberdeen City Council (“ACC”) in partnership with Aberdeen Harbour Board, Aberdeenshire Council and Nestrans (the Regional Transport Partnership) will seek to implement a number of measures designed to improve the efficiency of urban freight transport. A key aspect of the project regards the ways in which emerging digital technology can help cities realise efficiency gains and environmental benefits in relation to freight movement. The impact of smart city infrastructure is still to be felt in many respects (e.g. participatory democracy, digital planning, building condition monitoring), yet had already been implemented by both the public and private sectors in Aberdeen. The current use of sensor technology to extend the signal timings on key freight corridors has already seen a decrease in journey times for HGV traffic along routes but further consideration will be given to how best to assist with freight movements whilst the network is congested at peak times. That large freight vehicles are less compelled to stop and accelerate at controlled junctions also means that there are benefits in terms of air pollution, fuel efficiency and emissions. Local authority-led freight routeing and support are proven to be effective, as evidenced by previous work undertaken in the city. The extent to which the planned initiatives will contribute to the goals of PORTIS will require monitoring, evaluation, and an ability to demonstrate a genuine connection between plans and action within the city and wider region.


HOOD, C., LAING, R., GRAY, D., BURROWS, N., DICKSON, R. and ROBINSON, A. 2019. Sustainable road freight in port cities: Aberdeen and Civitas Portis. Presented at the 2019 Scottish transport applications and research conference (2019 STAR) [online], 22 May 2019, Glasgow, UK. Available from:

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name 2019 Scottish transport applications and research conference (2019 STAR)
Conference Location Glasgow, UK
Start Date May 22, 2019
Deposit Date Sep 2, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 2, 2019
Keywords Sustainable mobility measures; Port cities; Europe; Environmental benefits; Freight movement
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