Quick notes before I forget about last mile mobility, community tech and climate

I keep looking for these links, and searching through my own mastodon /twitter blog poss is getting old. so I’m going dump them here

Ways to direct funding to more sustainable variants of community tech

This is partly a response to a blog post from Matt Webb aages back about last mile delivery in COVID times.

This quote here is worth your attention:

So when I think about local delivery, this is where the rubber hits the road for all of this e-commerce stuff. Because it’s necessarily physical, it’s the sole opportunity to be face to face. But delivery, when commoditised and industrialised, also seems to be where things go badly wrong, from delivery drivers bearing the risk of whole corporations to food delivery “independent contractors” barely able to make minimum wage, and being stiffed for tips.

The big question:

Corporations and startups will inevitably move hard into the last mile delivery space. How do we make sure it’s not shit?

If technology is helping support a reduction in resource usage to help acheive climate goals, then because there is already a precedent in investing in efficiency, I think idea like funding last mile deliveries from an energy efficiency levy, like France is doing, is a really interesting one.

The proposals, which could become active by June of this year, are set to provide up to two euros per package for the first 500,000 in the inaugural year, then up to €1.30 for 1.5 million packages in year 2, and €0.6 for 3 million packages in the third year. These funds will be paid to those providing the delivery service.


More here:

The reasoning behind the incentive is linked to emissions and public health, as well as efficiency, with the Ministry’s page writing that a 1,500 litre cargo bike will emit 85% less co2 than a vehicle with the same capacity. The plan comes on the back of European directives that compell EU states to begin cutting emissions. France’s low-carbon strategy seeks to cut 28% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport by 2030 compared to 2015. Meanwhile, a national active mobility plan hopes to triple cycling’s modal share by 2024.

Furthermore, it is calculated that, for Paris, the transport of goods currently makes up between 15 to 20% of traffic, but is responsible for 45% of the fine particle emissions.


This is particularly interesting because I’ve become more aware of orgs like coopcycle, who offer software to support the administration of these kinds of deliveries – they even have a cute “coopyleft” license concept.

One thing that I’ve enjoyed seeing a mini renaissance of Mastodon use is the realisation that you can have some of the good bits of social media, without needing to have the nazi’s and trolls bundled in.

It’s a bit like discovering that can have the energy to power the underlying infrastructure, without the fossil fuel emissions if you are thoughtful about how to source it, or you have access to our own generation.