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Living Labs for city logistics: The evolutionary journey from birth to maturity

Authors: Prof. Amalia Polydoropoulou, Dr. Ioannis Karakikes (University of the Aegean)

Living Labs (LLs) provide collaborative environments where stakeholders can experiment and test innovative solutions in real-world settings. In the realm of city logistics, LLs offer a platform for stakeholders to co-create and co-design interventions that enhance the efficiency, sustainability, and resilience of urban logistics systems.

Establishing LLs as Advanced Testing Environments: Compared to simulations or hypothetical scenarios, LLs offer controlled yet realistic testing environments for urban freight transport solutions. They enable researchers to evaluate multiple stakeholder perspectives and bridge the gap in understanding social and behavioral aspects of urban logistics. By investigating stakeholders’ perceptions of different solutions, such as shippers, receivers, and residents, LLs shed light on adoption and usage patterns.

Challenges and Barriers to Implementation: Preliminary findings suggest that without proper motivation or tangible incentives, stakeholders may not understand the benefits of participation, leading to unwillingness to engage. Resistance to change or “inertia” also poses a barrier, as stakeholders may be hesitant to adopt new approaches. Addressing these barriers requires a thoughtful approach that effectively communicates the value of LLs and addresses stakeholders’ concerns.

Towards Maturity: Living Labs hold immense potential for fostering collaboration among stakeholders and testing innovative solutions in the city logistics sector. By providing a real-world testing environment and enabling the evaluation of multiple perspectives, LLs contribute to the development of sustainable urban freight transport solutions. Overcoming challenges and barriers requires proactive measures to motivate stakeholders and address resistance to change.


Did you know?

Did you know that the retail e-commerce sales worldwide have increased 48% between 2020 and 2023? (Statista, 2023). City logistics and urban freight transport LLs need to go one step beyond and address creatively the new challenges emerging from this steep increase.

More information will be provided in the GREEN-LOG deliverable (D1.1): “Knowledge Base of Last-mile Solutions and GREEN-LOG requirements specification” in the coming weeks.

Picture source: David Fuentes Prieto/


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