Smart Cities and Logistics

ProfessorHans Quak, PhD
Research topic: the role and place of city logistics innovations in the transition towards smarter and sustainable cities


The professorship of Smart Cities and Logistics focuses specifically on logistics in urban areas.

Key points of expertise:

  1. The transition towards zero-emissions city logistics
  • Support cities in zero-emissions logistics approach
  • Support companies in their zero-emissions logistics strategy (business case)
  • Develop Smart Cities and Logistics, where (public) data can be used for smarter and more sustainable city logistics (in collaboration with Logistics Community Brabant and the Atlas Liveable Cities).
  1. Innovations in last-mile deliveries
  • Innovative last-mile concepts in distribution (last-leg changes: automation (delivery drones/robots), consolidation, customer movements, and secure deliveries)
  • Services and business models (with receivers in the lead / providing direction)
  • Integrate home-delivery networks (home care, groceries, parcels)
  1. Relationship between urban space and city logistics
  • Space needed for logistics concepts and hubs (optimising flows from city or neighbourhood perspective rather than just the logistics perspective)
  • Impact of greening city centres and reduction of logistics space in (and around) cities
  • Redesign (semi-public) space and position logistics activities in it.

Digitisation, digitalisation, and improved data availability are key to all three directions to connect logistics operations in the cities to the other urban systems such as energy, the built environment, mobility and vehicles. As a result, innovations at the interface between the systems are made feasible. In addition, it also enables the visualisation of logistics and its impacts in the urban environment.

The professorship of Smart Cities and Logistics is closely linked to the professorships of Urban Mobility Planning.

The research team:

  • Hans Quak
  • Eric Hopstaken
  • Peter Kole
  • Joost de Kruijf
  • Thato Motloung
  • Nina Nesterova
  • Jeroen Weppner