Bologna, Italy

Innovation focus and new services

Micro-hubs networks and light EDVs – PI last mile deliveries

Context and challenges

The City of Bologna, and its Metropolitan area, approved a SUMP and SULP (Sustainable Urban Logistics Plan). At the City level, urban logistics activities deal with distributive flows, parcels, and e-commerce. At a metropolitan level, they include industrial areas, logistics nodes, large and small agglomerations, and critical infrastructures. URBANE will support the SULP measures in regard to Nearby Delivery Areas (NDAs) and the use of intermodal (passenger) nodes reducing the impacts of freight deliveries. The goals include the reduction of CO2 emissions, logistics sprawl and congestion, and the optimisation and concentration of logistics areas.

Objectives and ambitions

  • Develop a new business model for the setup and operation of a sustainable micro-logistics hubs network (NDA as in the SULP), combined with innovative delivery methods (i.e., cargo-bike / light EDVs).
  • Introduction of Physical Internet models in urban freight deliveries.
  • Develop a Digital Twin of the micro-logistics hubs network, fed with real-time data, used for planning and implementing urban freight-related measures.
  • Explore the requirements for introducing ADVs/drones for the movement of goods.
  • Study the aspects related to GDPR, safety and risk mitigation of cargo-bike riders


3 microhubs:

  • Coverage of the LTZ & historical center
  • Unattended and automated management
  • Test new delivery modes
  • Open-multi-operator concept

Partners involved


  • ITL – Fondazione Istituto sui Trasporti e la Logistica: lead LL activities and WP2 coordinator 
  • COBO – Comune of Bologna: technical, institutional and facilitator 
  • GEL – Gel Proximity  srl: ICT system provider and know-how on freight delivery optimization for the involved transport operators 
  • DTS – Due Torri spa: Transport operator 
  • TYP – TYP srl: Transport operator