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That’s right! Last week, Copenhagen, one of DISCO’s Starring Living Labs, convened over 50 stakeholders from the urban logistics sector for an exciting event: on 3 April 2024, the City hosted its very first DISCO Open Day, showcasing its mission to collaboratively engineer solutions for urban logistics in Copenhagen and the Capital Region, steering towards a sustainable transport ecosystem.

The spotlight shone on the Digital Twin technology, a pivotal tool showcased by IRT SystemX. Through sophisticated simulations, stakeholders glimpsed potential transformations: shifts in driving patterns, the integration of MicroHubs, and the advent of Off-Hour Deliveries.

These simulations aren’t just visionary; they’re actionable insights driving tangible change. As the day unfolded, discussions delved deep into the logistics landscape, fueled by a shared commitment to sustainability. The collaboration between stakeholders and the embrace of cutting-edge technology underscored a collective dedication to shaping a greener, more efficient future for urban logistics.

Congratulations to the Copenhagen Living Lab team for successfully conducting such an inspiring event! Stay tuned as we reveal more of our Living Labs as they go through their journey towards sustainable urban logistics.

Exciting news from us at DISCO! On Wednesday, 21 February 2024, our Starring Living Lab Thessaloniki hosted its inaugural local Open Day for the DISCO project, unveiling transformative urban Logistics measures – and it was a resounding success! This marked a significant milestone in our journey towards revolutionizing urban logistics: the event brought together a diverse array of local stakeholders, including representatives from the Municipality of Thessaloniki, the Real Estate sector, the Logistics Industry, and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry representing local retail. The meticulously organized event, orchestrated by PLANNING SA, provided an enriching platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange.

Throughout the day, industry representatives revealed the current state of Thessaloniki’s logistics landscape, offering valuable insights. Dr. Georgia Ayfantopoulou and the HIT/CERTH team took centre stage, delving into the dynamic urban logistics measures outlined in DISCO. Their presentation not only showcased the transformative changes these measures will catalyze in Thessaloniki but also underscored the pivotal role of the Physical Internet concept in driving this evolution. Emphasis was placed on the advantages of data sharing in fostering Urban Freight Data Spaces, highlighting the potential for a more interconnected and efficient logistics network.

Following the illuminating presentations, a workshop roundtable fostered discussions and solicited feedback from local stakeholders on various aspects of DISCO’s innovative measures. Key outcomes of these discussions included:

  1. Ensuring Product Security and Service Levels: Stakeholders underscored the importance of prioritizing product security and maintaining high service levels at shared warehousing facilities. This emphasis reflects a commitment to creating a logistics environment that prioritizes both efficiency and reliability.
  2. Micro-Hubs for Time and Cost Reductions: Participants recognized the substantial benefits of deploying micro-hubs near high-demand areas. The utilization of these strategically located hubs is expected to result in significant time and cost reductions for logistics industry players, thereby optimizing overall supply chain operations.
  3. Dynamic Assignment of Freight Distribution with Green Fleet Operators: Stakeholders acknowledged the feasibility of implementing dynamic assignment of freight distribution, particularly in areas with regulatory restrictions on conventional delivery vehicles. The enthusiasm surrounding the potential collaboration with Green fleet operators reflects a collective openness to innovative solutions aligned with sustainability goals.

Engaging with local stakeholders holds paramount importance for both the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the Hellenic Institute of Transport/CERTH. This interaction serves as a crucial step in validating research objectives and gauging reactions to the forthcoming urban environment changes across European municipalities. The success of the Open Day underscores the collaborative spirit and shared commitment towards building a more resilient and efficient urban logistics ecosystem. The DISCO project looks forward to further collaboration and partnerships as we continue our mission to reshape the future of urban logistics in Thessaloniki and beyond.

Guess what? DISCO is featured in Covenant of Mayors – Europe’s latest publication on ‘Policy Options to Reduce Emissions from the Mobility Sector’

This guide’s aim is to provide cities with resources to help reduce mobility emissions, sharing key initiatives, projects, guidelines, case studies, and tools in five areas:

Plus, we are thrilled to be listed alongside fellow CIVITAS Initiative projects URBANE, LEAD, MOVE21, and UPPER!

Read the full guide here.

That’s right – DISCO never stands still! This fall, we kept busy by presenting our innovative project in different mobility and sustainable freight forums. Here is a recap:

ITS Australia Global Summit 2023

On 29 August 2023, DISCO Project’s Coordinator, Paola Cossu, presented groundbreaking insights at ITS Australia’s Global Summit 2023, during the BreakOut Session 36, focusing on Drones, Freight, and Logistics. Key topics included the dynamic use of space for logistics in cities and the role of the Physical Internet and Data Space in urban logistics.

Data Spaces Discovery Day

In Naples, the Data Spaces Discovery Day was held on October 16 and 17 2023, dedicated to unlocking the potential of Data Spaces and their crucial business value. Paola Cossu, CEO of FIT Consulting srl and DISCO’s Project Coordinator, was a speaker in a panel discussing the innovative role of data spaces in manufacturing and urban logistics. This includes the introduction of the Urban Freight Data Space within DISCO, focusing on the dynamic use of urban space for logistics.

Thanks to its comprehensive agenda, the event provided valuable insights into the role of data spaces in shaping the future of manufacturing and urban logistics. It was an opportunity to enhance the visibility of the data spaces, derive inspiration from both Italian and international projects, and for stakeholders in the sector to meet and discuss.


mFUND Driven by Data Workshop Series

Two years after the first workshop dedicated to logistics and freight took place, the mFUND DRIVEN by DATA series of the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport brought back the topic to the centre of discussions. On October 18, our Project Coordinator Paola Cossu joined the fifth iteration of the workshop series, dedicated to the use of data for efficient and sustainable freight and logistics in Europe. The event also featured experts such as:

Through consistent engagement in these global events, DISCO aims to affirm its dedication to fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and driving innovations in the realms of logistics, data spaces, and sustainable urban freight.

Stay tuned for more!

The project coordinator Paola Cossu attended the final event of the UlaaDS (Urban Logistics as an on-Demand Service) EU-funded project in Barcelona on 15-16 October. She joined a panel discussion along with Michael Glotz-Richter (City of Bremen), Breogan Sanchez ((Zaragoza City of Knowledge Foundation)) and Manon Levrey (Interface Transport). It focused on the status of urban logistics, touching on key lessons from ULaaDS and SENATOR, and exploring how new EU-funded projects could utilise these insights.

Collaboration, finding the right space for urban logistics, inclusion of SULPs in SUMPs, cargo hitching and data sharing to improve quality of life with more sustainable, efficient and resilient operations were some of the key topics treated.

As Paola Cossu stated, “If we pool resources and share learnings at EU level, having as main goal to taking care of people and business, we will succeed in replicating and adopting winning solutions for better planning, awareness, fair and balanced decision making, supporting business while reducing uncertainty, empty and unnecessary miles!”

On 26 September 2023 the 1st edition of the Urban Logistics Innovation Day took place in Brussels with the participation of more than 100 representatives from cities, the logistics sector, and academia.

The Final Conference of the LEAD project – co-organised by POLIS and ALICE – was a unique chance to learn more about the results achieved by the project and to gather experts, innovators, and policymakers to share ideas and shape the future of sustainable urban logistics, including representatives from ongoing EU-funded projects focusing on urban freight, such as MOVE21, DISCO, URBANE, ULaaDS, SENATOR, GREEN-LOG, DECARBOMILE, among others.

During the conference participants had the opportunity to dive deeper into specific topics. Four sessions covered digital twins and what-if scenarios, consumer engagement, sustainability of urban freight, and zero-emission vehicles and support infrastructure for the last mile, as well as urban space optimisation and alignment with sustainable urban logistics. DISCO was part of it, here is a quick recap:

One of the takeaways of the event was that (i) the impact of digital twins on urban logistics is concrete and potentially scalable, (ii) the key role of Living Labs and co-creation activities in shaping new business models and public-private partnerships, and (iii) a need for more exchange of experiences and measurement of impact. To achieve these goals, cooperation between companies and local governments is essential to greener and more efficient urban logistics, something that is also at the heart of DISCO.

On 20 November 2023, DISCO joined forces with POLIS Network and the European Technology Platform on Logistics (ALICE) for a webinar focused on urban space allocation for freight.

The two networks also delivered in 2023 a webinar series on the future of urban freight, bringing the public and private actors together to discuss and explore the ins and outs of logistics. Smart Governance and Regulations is one of the five areas of intervention identified in the Joint Guide for advancing together towards zero-emission urban logistics by 2030.

Michael Glotz-Richter from the City of Bremen (Germany), Zisis Maleas from the Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (CERTH) and Iskandar Tange from Coding the Curbs took the stage and brought to the online audience – more than 90 people – their first-hand experience and insights.

Michael focused its intervention on the measures and interventions implemented in Bremen within the UE-funded project UlaaDS, Zisis focused its intervention defining mobility hubs and how they can help cities to better manage transport flows. Iskandar highlighted the work done by Coding the Curbs in some Dutch cities to manage more efficiently available public space among several users (Horeca sector, logistics, parking, etc.).

The panel discussion was moderated by the DISCO coordinator, Paola Cossu from FIT Consulting.

The DISCO consortium met once again on 23-24 October after the kick-off meeting for a two-day fruitful partner Meeting at the premises of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in beautiful Barcelona.

This was a unique opportunity to gather all our partners for a comprehensive update six months into the project. On the first day, the discussions have focused on the progress of first dissemination actions and synergies with relevant initiatives, fellow EU-funded projects focusing on urban freight, and the setting up of the Impact Creation Board for Transformation (ICBT). A dedicated workshop followed in the afternoon session and focused on producing the initial and updated set of DISCO-X requirements to create the first cut view of the metamodel suite.

On the second day, a focus has been paid to all of the Starring Living Labs, their plans to kick start their activities and the initial use cases foreseen, preceded by an overview of the Agile Model Implementation Roadmap to be applied at the different Living Labs.

DISCO is busy at work on the concept of Physical-Internet applied to urban logistics to maximise usage of assets and increase efficiency, reducing traffic flow and mitigating negative impacts on the environment and society.

The next in-person gathering of the DISCO consortium will take place in Thessaloniki in April 2024.

On 3 October, prior to the Urban Mobility Days (UMDs), DISCO joined the first gathering of the current Coordination and Support Action for the CIVITAS Initiative. CIVITAS MUSE primarily engages in support activities to boost the impact of CIVITAS Community activities on sustainable urban mobility policy.

The meetings were attended by the evaluation and dissemination managers from the EU-funded projects under the CIVITAS Programme umbrella, project officers and other representatives from CINEA. DISCO was represented by FIT Consulting and POLIS. These meetings kick-started CIVITAS’ aims to create synergies among the various mobility projects and enable streamlined peer-learning.

In the afternoon, DISCO joined a meeting specifically focused on urban freight, to enable more in-depth personal connections, peer-learning and public-facing synergies in dissemination work going forward between ongoing projects, such as URBANE, DISCO, GREEN-LOG and UNCHAIN.

A timeline for 2024 was agreed on and next meeting is due to take place in early Spring. The next plenary Evaluation Group Meeting is scheduled to take place next September (along with the CIVITAS Forum).

The following days, during the UMDs, DISCO was featured in the exhibition area in a stand shared with the sister project UNCHAIN. On 6 October, DISCO was pitched in the plenary by the project coordinator Paola Cossu (FIT Consulting) along with other newly funded projects under the Horizon Europe Programme.

On 16 and 17 May 2023, DISCO’s journey officially began in Brussels, where we had our inspiring kick-off meeting. The consortium came together to meet in person for the first time and develop a common vision and understanding of targets and goals. Find out more about our uniquely named project below.

DISCO kicks off! Last week, on 16 and 17 May 2023, partners from this new Horizon Europe project gathered together to meet in person and develop a common vision and understanding of targets and goals.

The unique DISCO name stands for ‘Data-driven, Integrated, Syncromodal, Collaborative and Optimised urban freight meta-model for a new generation of urban logistics and planning with data sharing at European Living Labs’. In short: it aims to support cities in undertaking the digital transformation of urban logistics and sustainable planning and to optimally and strategically manage urban space, in order to accelerate the achievement of EU mission cities goals by 2030.

“The DISCO ambition is to accompany the Physical Internet-led digital transition process in urban logistics planning. This transition can be compared to discography industry evolution: from vinyl to streaming, with music supplied as commodity and mass adoption by digital devices.” – Paola Cossu, DISCO Project Coordinator, FIT Consulting.

Over the course of 42 months, the consortium consisting of a whooping 47 partners will facilitate voluntary data sharing among stakeholders and introduce urban freight data space ecosystems that are efficient and trustworthy.

DISCO Living Labs discuss twinning activities.

DISCO Living Labs discuss twinning activities at the kick-off meeting.

How? DISCO will drive EU Cities towards Physical Internet by demonstrating 23 flagship solutions on optimal and flexible use of urban space for logistics in 8 European Living Labs, including:

But that is not all! 4 Follower Cities also join the projects, and they are:

The two-day kick-off meeting provided many fruitful insights to the consortium as they make their first steps towards a new era of innovative yet sustainable urban freight. Through group discussions, talk shows, workshops, and much more, partners got to know one another and explored the way ahead for the work in the Living Labs.

The meeting also saw the intervention of several European representatives on the project, such as Yannick Bousse, DISCO Project Officer, European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA), or Paola Chiarini, Policy Officer, European Commission – DG Mobility and Transport.

 “Given the wide-ranging expertise of the consortium, the direct involvement of 12 cities and the focus on uptake of the results, DISCO has a real potential to deliver innovative solutions and make urban logistics more efficient and sustainable.” – Paola Chiarini, Policy Officer, DG MOVE.

Yannick Bousse, DISCO Project Officer, delivers his speech on project expectations.

The event was only joined by Prof. Rod Franklin from Kuehne Logistics University, who opened the second day of the meeting with a speech on Physical Internet.

“Cities are complex social entities that operate through the integration of many networks. The complexity of interaction between these networks makes it very difficult for cities to deliver sustainable environments for their citizens. By enabling dynamic management of city infrastructures, the DISCO project is taking a positive step in assisting cities in addressing one aspect of their quest to provide citizens with the services they want; providing sustainable logistics that serve the demands of residents and businesses.” – Prof. Rod Franklin, Professor and Academic Director at Kuehne Logistics University.

After such an exciting meeting, we cannot wait to get down to business and work hard at delivering on all project objectives. Stay tuned – much more to come soon!