4City Logistics Foundation: Japan at the Forefront

Having faced the environmental challenges threatening the planet, a societal awareness seems to be emerging and gradually gaining momentum. The movement affects many human activities and questions the sustainable nature of logistical processes. This movement, which gives rise to an abundant literature, especially with a perspective of ecological economics, gave rise to studies addressing the city logistics. Japan is at the forefront of city logistics foundation, both in terms of scientific research, and in terms of development and implementation of innovative solutions. After having outlined the challenges of urban logistics, this chapter explores the Japanese context of hyper-urbanization and metropolization, explaining why urban logistics planning should be required, and then adds a synthesis of the most significant works on the subject, first from an optimizing perspective, followed by managerial and societal perspectives.

4.1. Introduction

Strategic issues linked to city logistics have gradually emerged in connection with deep societal and urban planning changes. Although the concentration of urban population increases from year to year, it is not necessarily correlated with the presence of economic activities in urban areas. On the contrary, the high land price often leads some of the economic activities to flee the city to the outskirts [BAL 17], and the activities that remain there must implement just in time (JIT) supply ...

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