The Northern Italian city of Ferrara (135.000 inhabitants), located in the Po River Plain, capital of the homonymous province in Emilia-Romagna Region, is a cycling city par excellence. Approximately four out of ten trips are made by bicycle, and the bicycle is used by all social groups, by people of all age groups, by men and women, boys and girls, for all purposes, all over the year. Citizens of Ferrara say that little children get their first bicycle before they have learned to walk. With her high share of cycling, Ferrara is, by far, not only the leader among Italian cycling cities, but she is among the best cycling cities in Europe.
The size and spatial conditions of Ferrara are favourable to cycling: Ferrara is a mono-centric city with some villages in a maximum distance of 5km. For the first half of the 20th century, bicycle was the only vehicle available for journeys between homes and fields or factories. Lack of alternatives, efficiency of the bicycle, restricted access city centre (World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO), compact urban structure, slow economic development, all these are factors which era in favour of cycling and which led to the development of a cycling culture in Ferrara. Cycling was - and still is - regarded as a usual means of transport, for which the transport policy has to pay attention. In the concept of 'new mobility' of Ferrara, the bicycle plays the main role in a multi-modal mobility mix of car pooling, car sharing, taxi buses, collective taxis etc.
The lack of good practice nearby, impose the city of Ferrara to repeatedly explore uncharted ground and to look abroad for best practice, experience and expertise. This the case of the CycleLogistics European Project, whose goal to move goods transport from motorized vehicles to cargo bikes and bicycle precisely responds to the local needs to improve mobility conditions and goods delivery in the city centre without affecting aesthetical aspects of its architectures, supporting with small investments daily work of business and shops, offering to bicycle lovers new options to bypass car use and, last but not least, to inspire creation of new companies.
Ferrara offers to cycle logistic every potential opportunities: public services, business to business, business to citizens, private use, as suggested by CycleLogistics Project aims. Preparing the ground, mostly in terms of rising awareness, and the launch of pilot experience searching for public and private partners co-operation will be the first steps AMI Ferrara intends to pursue within the CycleLogistics Project. Cargo Bike public services implementation and demonstrative activities for shop owners and private citizens are the starting actions planned.