Skip to main content

Eurocities Mayors Pulse Survey highlights the urgency of climate action: How the UNCHAIN project is leading the charge

In a world where urbanization and climate change intersect increasingly, the recent results from the Eurocities Pulse Mayors Survey underscore the critical importance of climate action for European cities. For the second consecutive year, more than half of the mayors have declared climate action as their top priority for 2024. This declaration aligns seamlessly with the objectives of the UNCHAIN project, which is dedicated to sustainable urban logistics solutions. As we look into the survey results and their implications, it becomes evident that projects like UNCHAIN are pivotal in driving the sustainable mobility agenda forward.

Understanding the Eurocities Pulse Mayors Survey

The Eurocities Pulse Mayors Survey is a comprehensive annual assessment that captures the perspectives and priorities of city leaders across Europe. It serves as a barometer for the most pressing issues in urban areas. The 2024 survey results reveal a consistent and growing concern for climate action, reflecting the urgent need to address environmental challenges at the municipal level.

Key Findings from the Survey

  • Climate Action as a Top Priority: Over 50% of mayors have identified climate action as their priority for 2024. This highlights a strong and unified commitment across European cities to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
  • Investment in Sustainable Urban Mobility: 55% of mayors believe that more investment in sustainable urban mobility should be one of the top priorities for the next European Commission. Moreover, 49% of the next EU Budget should be allocated to sustainable mobility.
  • Top Areas for EU Investment: Mayors identify climate change and energy, sustainable mobility, and access to housing as the top areas for EU investment, confirming several long-term trends.
  • Sustainable Mobility as a Critical Priority: Approximately 27.5% of mayors consider sustainable mobility a top priority for 2024, emphasizing the need for services and infrastructure that facilitate the movement of people and goods efficiently and safely.
A graph showing what the participating mayors think should be the next European Commission priorities. The UNCHAIN project agrees with the sustainable mobility element to be a top area for cities.
Graphic from Eurocities Pulse Mayors Survey 2024 – A state of cities report through the voices of mayors

What is the role of projects like UNCHAIN?

The UNCHAIN project is an innovative initiative to revolutionize urban logistics through sustainable practices. UNCHAIN seeks to create more efficient, environmentally friendly urban transport systems by fostering collaboration between cities and leveraging cutting-edge technology.

Objectives and Strategies of UNCHAIN

  • Revolutionizing Last-Mile Delivery: In today’s fast-paced world, where online shopping is king, the demand for sustainable last-mile delivery is soaring. UNCHAIN aims to address the exponential growth in deliveries that is leading to urban congestion, pollution, and inefficiency in cities all around the world.
  • Collaboration with City Authorities: A cornerstone of the UNCHAIN project is its emphasis on collaboration with city authorities. By working closely with local governments, UNCHAIN ensures that its solutions are tailored to each city’s specific needs and challenges.
  • Breaking Down Data Silos: An essential part of UNCHAIN’s mission is fostering public-private data exchange and interoperability. By creating a single, cross-border European space for mobility data, the project will empower logistics operators and city managers to make informed decisions and improve operational efficiency.
A little graph about UNCHAIN and a few numeric information about the project.

Bridging the Gap: How UNCHAIN Aligns with Mayors’ Priorities

The alignment between the UNCHAIN project and the priorities identified in the Eurocities Mayors Pulse survey is striking. Both emphasize the necessity of robust climate action and the role of sustainable urban logistics in achieving broader environmental and social goals. This shared focus on sustainability underscores the urgency of developing integrated solutions that address urban congestion, pollution, and inefficiency. By prioritizing sustainable mobility, both the UNCHAIN project and the mayors are championing a future where cities can thrive without compromising the environment. This commitment to sustainable urban development is critical for fostering resilient, inclusive, and livable urban spaces across Europe.

Enhancing Climate Action Through Collaboration

As climate action remains a top priority for mayors, the collaborative model of UNCHAIN is particularly relevant. By partnering with city authorities, UNCHAIN can ensure that its initiatives are effectively integrated into municipal planning and policy-making processes. This collaboration is crucial for:

  • Policy Alignment: Ensuring that city policies support and facilitate sustainable logistics solutions.
  • Resource Sharing: Leveraging city resources and infrastructure to maximize the impact of UNCHAIN’s initiatives.
  • Scalability: Developing scalable solutions that can be adapted and implemented across multiple cities.

Addressing Economic Resilience and Social Equity

Sustainable urban logistics can significantly contribute to economic resilience and social equity, two other key priorities for mayors. The challenges of urban freight distribution — traffic congestion, air pollution, and road safety issues —can be mitigated by optimizing logistics operations and reducing environmental impact. This optimization is crucial for the future of urban areas and offers multiple benefits.

If cities implement these innovations and research findings into their governance, they could:

  • Create Jobs: Develop new employment opportunities in the green logistics sector.
  • Enhance Public Health: Improve air quality and reduce noise pollution, leading to better health outcomes for urban residents.
  • Promote Social Inclusion: Ensure that sustainable logistics solutions are accessible and beneficial to all segments of the population.

Therefore, it is crucial for cities to adopt these innovative strategies and incorporate research findings into their city governance to achieve these benefits and drive sustainable urban development. By prioritizing sustainable urban logistics, cities can build a resilient, equitable, and thriving future for their residents.

A graph showing the top priorities for the participating mayors. The UNCHAIN project agrees with the need of urgent climate action.
Graph from Eurocities Pulse Mayors Survey 2024 – A state of cities report through the voices of mayors

The Path Forward: Realizing the Potential of UNCHAIN

The Eurocities Mayors Pulse survey highlights a clear and urgent call to action: climate change is the defining issue for European cities in 2024. Projects like UNCHAIN are at the forefront of responding to this call, demonstrating that sustainable urban logistics are not only possible but essential for the future of our cities.

With the active participation of ten European cities, including Madrid, Berlin, and Florence, serving as living labs and followers, UNCHAIN is poised to make a significant impact. Major players in the logistics industry, such as DHL and UPS, are also contributing to the project’s large-scale feasibility and success.

By harnessing the power of data, technology, and collaboration, UNCHAIN is unlocking the potential for change in urban logistics. As we look ahead, the collaboration between UNCHAIN and city authorities will be instrumental in achieving the ambitious climate goals set forth by European mayors. By working together, we can create urban environments that are not only sustainable but also resilient, equitable, and thriving.

The role of Peer Cities in UNCHAIN:

To further enhance its impact, the UNCHAIN project is also engaging “Peer Cities” to participate actively in the initiative. Involving a broad network of cities is crucial for fostering widespread collaboration, ensuring early adoption of innovative services, and promoting robust public-private partnerships. This inclusive approach will facilitate the sharing of best practices in urban logistics, driving more comprehensive and effective solutions. By bringing more cities on board, UNCHAIN aims to create a collaborative ecosystem that accelerates progress toward sustainable and efficient urban logistics, ultimately benefiting urban environments across Europe.

To access the detailed Eurocities Mayors Pulse survey, please visit Eurocities Mayors Pulse Survey 2024.