The city of Utrecht, part of CIVITAS-MIMOSA, won both a national and an international prize for its freight distribution scheme in the inner city. Its CIVITAS measures, most notably, the Cargohopper and the beer boat have been recognised as innovative and sustainable.
Utrecht, 3 December 2009 - The city of Utrecht is the winner of the first National Award for Sustainable City Distribution 2009. The EUR250.000 prize and is intended to stimulate cooperation and innovation in city distribution, thereby improving the living environment in city centres.
The award is a new initiative from the Dutch Minister of Transport. The city of Utrecht and two Dutch companies, called Hoek Transport and Gepu catering wholesaler, are rewarded for their cooperation in designing a concrete plan to make the supply of goods in the historical centre of Utrecht more efficient and sustainable.
The Alderman for traffic and transport in Utrecht joined the presentation of the award in The Hague and was very pleased: "cooperation between the city and a private initiative is very worthwhile. We will expand this, to reach our goal of a city that is accessible, has a good living environment and is easy to supply with goods".
The three awarded parties are forerunners in the area of city distribution. Since the local goods supply policy plan was implemented, Utrecht has been seen as a national and international example of sustainable city distribution. The city's beer boat, which will be completely electrical from 2010 onwards, is an example of this. Gepu catering is a regular user of this beer boat and has shown that even perishable and frozen products can transport by boat.
In spring 2009, Hoek Transport took the initiative to produce the first Cargohopper: a 16 metre long solar powered electric mini-train that is used to deliver goods around Utrecht's inner city quarters. Cargohopper has zero emissions and is allowed any place in the city centre at any time, which is part of its advantage. The vehicle removes up to 100.000 van-kilometres from the inner city streets and saves approximately 30 tons of CO2 on an annual basis.
The prize was also awarded because the three parties icooperated closely when working on their respective activities: freight traffic in the city centre can be diminished even more by exchanging cargo between the beer boat and the Cargohopper. Supplies to the inner city catering businesses will, where possible, be bundled through these two means of clean transport. A last important feature of the plan in Utrecht is the intention to document this specific city distribution model in such way that other cities can easily implement similar measures.
In promoting more sustainable inner city freight transport, Utrecht receives a contribution from the CIVITAS project of the European Commission.
EUROCITIES Award for Innovation competition
The EUROCITIES Awards recognise outstanding achievement by EUROCITIES members in the delivery of local activities or practices which improve the quality of life for citizens. The City of Utrecht was nominated in the "EUROCITIES Award for Innovation" category.
This award recognises innovation in the planning and implementation of activities or practices by a local authority. This year saw a record number of 32 applications. Utrecht received second place for in Stockholm on 28 November 2009.