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UFL Selects Two Winners of Technical Assistance Program

UFL Selects Two Winners of Technical Assistance Program
UFL Selects Two Winners of Technical Assistance Program
July 13, 2021   //   

JULY 13, 2021 — Today the Urban Freight Lab (UFL) announces the selection of two cities to receive urban freight research assistance under the Technical Assistance Program (TAP).

The UFL’s primary goal for the TAP is to assist in strengthening of urban freight practices for cities, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations — particularly in developing collaborative relationships with private sector freight, building data-driven urban freight programs to accurately understand commercial activities, develop robust data collection plans, evaluate municipal urban freight practices, and chart a pathway to zero-emissions urban freight.

“We were thrilled to see so many interesting and well-prepared applications, and were humbled by the enthusiasm and trust that the applicants showed in our work at UFL,” said Andisheh Ranjbari, UFL Manager.

The UFL received applications from city departments of transportation, metropolitan planning organizations, and nonprofits, and from large and mid-sized metropolitan areas across the U.S. Applications covered various topics, including local/regional freight plans, zero-emissions freight, curb management, and delivery and logistics hubs.

The 2021 TAP winners are:

  • The New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) in support of a Zero-Emissions Urban Freight Market Research Study. NYCDOT is aiming to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. We will work together on a New York City Zero-Emissions Urban Freight Market Research Study, conducting targeted freight industry market research to identify strategies that can support charting a pathway to zero-emissions freight strategies citywide by 2050 and the associated roadblocks/barriers to entry. Such strategies will build on the success of existing programs, such as NYC’s Clean Truck Program, Commercial Cargo Bikes Pilot Program, and Off Hour Deliveries Program as outlined in NYCDOT’s forthcoming Smart Truck Management Plan.

 “We are excited to receive this award and look forward to working with the Urban Freight Lab to advance initiatives that will incentivize the adoption of zero-emission freight vehicles in NYC and improve livability of our communities,” said Diniece Mendes, Freight Mobility Director at New York City Department of Transportation.

“This zero emissions urban freight market research study will allow NYC to accelerate the development and deployment of environmental sustainable goods movement strategies, building on the vision outlined in Delivering New York: A Smart Truck Management Plan for NYC.”

  • Western Arkansas Planning and Development District (WAPDD) and transportation planning division Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in support of a Generating Opportunity for All (GOAL) Micro-Freight Hub Project. MPO, the City of Fort Smith, and local and tribal leaders envision a new way to conduct freight delivery and business within low-income and diverse neighborhoods in western Arkansas and in vulnerable communities across the nation. The GOAL micro-freight hub project will examine how incentive and business models can join these elements together and ultimately inform strategies, direct policies, and implement sustainable micro-freight hubs within low-income and neglected neighborhoods. By connecting trusted social resources, shared micromobility, and micro-freight services, a community economy can potentially empower voiceless populations to prosper, succeed, and develop culturally relevant solutions to transportation, racial, and accessibility inequalities.

“We are honored to receive this award since the overall goal of the effort will be to transform a low-income community,” said Reese Brewer, Frontier MPO director in Western Arkansas.

“Through the attention brought by this study, decision makers can begin the reallocation of funds to address infrastructure deficiencies resulting in new bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and secure mobility features. In a region with the highest rates of continued poverty, disability, and obesity, along with chronic injustice in the nation, the GOAL micro-freight hub will address systemic institutional, racial, cultural, and transportation inequities in western Arkansas.”

“The Urban Freight Lab is excited to be able to support the cities of Fort Smith and New York in building a more efficient, sustainable, and equitable urban freight system, and look forward to doing great work together,” said Ranjbari.

The UFL supports cities by facilitating connections with operators to better understand their needs and pain points, collecting data and producing analytical results to support policy decisions, and using a systems engineering approach to solve delivery problems that overlap city and business sphere of control. We have strong ongoing partnerships with the cities of Seattle and Bellevue in Washington, and seek to engage with and help cities more broadly.

Proposals were selected based on the topic’s merit and match with the UFL’s research interests and available resources; preference was given to applications addressing sustainability and/or equity.

Background: The Urban Freight Lab’s Technical Assistance Program (TAP) is a six-month program for public agencies and nonprofit organizations who share the UFL’s goals and visions for solving urban freight challenges. UFL provides selected agency (or agencies) with 1:1 match funds in terms of staff and/or research assistance time to complete tasks in support of the project. The TAP is a competitive program awarded annually.

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About the Urban Freight Lab (UFL): The Urban Freight Lab is a structured partnership of academic researchers, public sector agencies, and private sector firms — shippers, retailers, tech providers, property owners, and manufacturers — working collaboratively to identify complex urban freight management problems and design solutions to make industry more efficient and cities more sustainable, livable.