TRAN Committee explores the potential of Digital Twins in green and digital innovations for urban freight transport planning

03 Apr 2023

On 21 March 2021, the TRAN Committee organized a public hearing on the transition towards greener and digital transport, which is a key priority on the EU policy agenda. 

The hearing focused on current challenges and possibilities for air, rail, and road transport, as well as the improvement of last-mile solutions related to urban freight. The LEAD project ( was also presented as an example in this last topic, demonstrating how Digital Twins are used with a Living Lab approach to develop sustainable urban freight transport.

Digital Twins have become a popular approach in urban modeling for policymakers. However, creating these tools for urban logistics requires ongoing collaboration with various stakeholders to generate value throughout the city. This not only enables Digital Twins to serve as a visualization tool but also facilitates the co-creation of knowledge among stakeholders. This is especially important in the context of logistical innovation, where the involvement of multiple stakeholders and objectives can result in a lack of sustainable business models and failure of innovation.

By simulating collaborative business scenarios that demonstrate how value is created and shared, Digital Twins play a crucial role in promoting green logistic innovations. The LEAD project, is developing Digital Twins, which brings loser to achieving the Physical Internet vision, sustainable urban freight transport, and ultimately, more livable cities.

The findings suggest that while there has been a technical focus on the implementation of Digital Twins in the transportation sector, it is essential to recognize that such innovations can only be effective when accepted by the social system. In other words, the success of Digital Twins in the transportation sector is not just dependent on their technical capabilities but also on their social acceptance. This implies that there needs to be greater emphasis on involving the processes of city stakeholders and integrating social considerations in the planning and implementation of such innovations.

The recording of the hearing is available here session starts at 15:19.

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