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Last Mile & the City (1st semester 22/23)

How to organize the last mile in an urban environment in 2030?  

Amongst others urbanization, climate change, scarcity of space, and changing shopping behavior affects the livability of cities. Air quality and accessibility are under constant pressure. Therefore, the last- and first mile of goods and people needs to be rethought.  

The minor “Last mile & the city” challenges you to generate innovative solutions for the last mile, considering the use of public space. By doing so you get the opportunity to develop and combine logistics-, urban development- and mobility knowledge and experience.  

In this minor you will discuss the public – private debate trying to find a solution for a more sustainable and livable urban environment, where most people live, recreate and work. We will focus on the motives of the three main stakeholders: the government, the industry and the citizens of the city. What are their drivers for change? What kind of last mile solutions are currently tested in an urban environment and which can be (combined) used in the future? What other new innovations can you think of? How to facilitate these from an infrastructure- and regulating perspective? What is the impact on urban space and lay-out? Is it complex to test or use innovative ‘last mile’ solutions, like delivery robots or automated- and connected vehicles in the public space? And finally, how can you ensure that our environment is more sustainable in 2030 as part a of transition? 

During this minor you work in multi-disciplinary teams to realize innovative solutions enabling a sustainable and livable city. You will apply your knowledge, competences and ideas on real-life cases sponsored by one or more municipalities or companies. 

The final product of the minor includes an overall background report, a 15-pager highlighting the unique elements of your vision and concepts, a change plan and a pitch supported with posters, 3D models, gaming or any other (innovative) tools to emphasize your innovative ideas.


After this minor you are able to: 

  • create an idea about how to organize the last mile in an urban environment in 2030, where knowledge and ideas around logistics, built environment and (smart)mobility get applied, analyzed and evaluated jointly
  • understand and apply the basics of (city)logistics, built environment and  (smart)mobility; 
  • understand the entire integral chain of the first and last mile of goods and people; 
  • to understand the difference between the city’s public ambitions and the private organizations goals and their effect on future solutions; 
  • plan transition within complex environments with many stakeholders involved; 
  • recognize and translate relevant future last mile trends and developments (of both goods and people) and their associated impact on urban space and lay-out; 
  • To discuss the (inter)national ambition on sustainability in urban environments; 
  • To determine the complexity of applying innovative mobility as a last mile solution in a public environment. 


2-3 years foreknowledge in Logistics, Built Environment or Mobility 

Propaedeutic certificate obtained


  • Intermediate report – The Innovation, 
  • Portfolio, 
  • Intermediate presentation – how to organize the last mile in an urban environment in 2030?, 
  • Final report – from scratch to implementation, 
  • Pitch, 
  • Assessment talk. 

Aanvullende informatie


Innovator, entrepreneur, teambuilder, change-minded, researcher, stakeholder awareness 



  • Last mile and first mile of goods and/or people 
  • (City)Logistics, Urban development (planning and design) and (smart)mobility; 
  • Livability and zero emission; 
  • Automated vehicles, big data and “product as a service” platforms; 
  • Sustainability, circular economy and climate change; 
  • Strategy and business models;  
  • Triple helix; 
  • Transition management, behavior and living labs. 


Structure of the minor  

You will work together in a multi-disciplinary team of several students on behalf of a sponsor. You can choose yourself one of the available public or private sponsors. Examples are the municipality of Breda (public) and DHL (private). Furthermore, you can choose to deploy research from a more logistics- or built environment perspective. The minor consists of three phases with summative assessments, including group and individual elements.   

  • Phase I, Idea generation – you propose at least two relevant new last mile innovations, considering their use and impact on urban space and lay-out. This includes the first and last mile of goods and/or people. Aim is to find a way to organize the last mile in an urban environment in 2030. Innovations are not necessarily of a technical nature; it could be process- and/or business model innovations as well;  
  • Phase II, Backcasting - starts by defining the desired future and then looks back to assess what would be required to get there. This approach enables stakeholders to introduce more imaginative new ideas — opening up the dialogue of your own future in 2030; 
  • Phase III, Pilot / living lab – testing of ideas / proof of concept / prototyping. 

During the minor you will have regular contact with your sponsor. 


Teaching method(s):  

Two days a week will be allocated for group work and coaching in a studio/atelier setting. In the first part of the minor, masterclasses and/or mini lectures will be provided or organized by yourself. The other days are spent on individual work, group work and piloting. The masterclasses and coaching are provided in English. 


International context  

The minor will point out the situation in Dutch cities, but we will discuss foreign examples if applicable.