Analyzing the impacts of last mile mobility and studying the implementation of alternative vehicles in Swedish cities.

University essay from Högskolan i Gävle/Industriell ekonomi

Abstract: The growing population of cities and the rise of e-commerce are increasing the transportation of both goods and people. This can generate problems such as traffic jams, increased pollution, and lower living standards for citizens. To reduce the negative impacts, a change in last mile mobility could be made, replacing traditional combustion vehicles with electric ones or, ideally, with bikes and cargo bikes.  This thesis examines the case of the Swedish cities of Gävle and Uppsala, trying to explain how the last mile affects the lives of their inhabitants, if and why electric vehicles and cargo bikes are implemented (or not), and how authorities can promote their use. For this purpose, after a literature review, some questions were developed, and seven city managers were interviewed: five from Gävle and two from Uppsala.  The study shows that city managers are aware of the impacts that the last mile, and mobility in general, has on its inhabitants, and of the need for a shift towards a more sustainable mobility. Despite this awareness, policy makers are not doing everything possible to accelerate the transition. According to city managers, both the public and private sector advocate more for a change of energy source (from combustion to electric vehicles) rather than a model change using bikes. In addition, the study shows the opportunities that the new model based on non-traditional vehicles can offer and the barriers that prevent its implementation. Finally, different measures that could make cities more sustainable are proposed. 

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