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Freight’s Role in Delivering Equitable Cities (Part I)

Publication: Goods Movement 2030: An Urban Freight Blog
Publication Date: 2022

What does an equitable and just freight system actually look like?

We asked UFL members this question at the summer 2022 quarterly meeting. Their responses, shown in the graphic below, cover a wide range of ideas and topics. Some define equity in terms of equal access to the numerous benefits a freight system brings; others call for a reduction in freight costs — like pollution, noise, and traffic — to historically marginalized people.

Members differ on who the appropriate stakeholders are when it comes to addressing equity in urban freight. Is it the public agencies and big companies currently driving zero-carbon transitions? The warehouse workers, owner-operators and migrant truck drivers? The customers who shop online? Or the families who live near warehouses and truck routes?

Addressing these challenges is no simple task. Such questions challenge the urban freight community to grapple with the implications of histories of injustices that remain visible in today’s freight networks. And it also challenges us to look beyond the purview of planners and policymakers and assess the active role logistics companies play in delivering equity. In fact, evidence suggests the C-suite does think seriously about justice both within and beyond the context of the company. These understandings can be a foundation for a more equitable freight system and creating a truly equitable city.

Authors: Travis Fried
Recommended Citation:
"Freight’s Role in Delivering Equitable Cities (Part I)" Goods Movement 2030 (blog). Urban Freight Lab, November 16, 2022.