The so-called ViA plan (Vlaanderen in Actie) is intended to turn Flanders into a top region by 2020. An important spearhead activity of this action plan is called “Flanders’ role as a smart turntable within Europe”. It consists of developing a strong vision on how to optimize the transportation modes by a maximal use, a revalorization, and — if necessary — an expansion of other means than those already belonging to the existing mobility infrastructure.
Theoretically, the underground transportation of goods in Flanders seems to have a future. From a technological point of view, there are already lots of possibilities and ‘going underground’ might reduce the pressure on the surface infrastructure, thereby offering both people and goods an unhindered mobility, as well as positive health aspects, by reducing the inherent inconveniences of intensive logistics.
The strategic policy choices that can be made now will be of crucial importance for the decades to come. Therefore, to evaluate the opportunities of this technology (also for the Flemish industry), we need an assessment framework that is taking into account the undeniable and specific characteristics of the environmental planning in Flanders.
This project proposal encompasses the following steps:
Nomenclature: describes and arranges the various options in ‘Smartly underground’ and defines the scope of the project.
Comprehensive literature study: screens, in a structured way, the most relevant sources and cases (best practices) and draws the right lessons to learn.
Questioning of the ‘leading’ stakeholders and privileged witnesses about the subject, a crucial step to obtain a realistic, balanced and up-to-date view.
SWOT and scenario planning to cluster the analysis: in other words, the information is processed into knowledge, through a thorough analysis that leads to the development of new theories.
SCBA (Societal Cost-Benefit Analysis): provides a rough overview of the costs and benefits within a broad societal framework.
Synthesis: with a focus on the connection between policy ambition level and technological possibilities, on field-specific requirements as well as on critical success factors (hindering factors, risks, multimodality and co-modality, other consequences).
Project leader: Johan Evers