To help manage these logistics, researchers at MIT's Megacities Logistics Lab have gathered data "” collected by 11 MIT students paired with local students around the world "” on representative neighborhoods in Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Beijing, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur and Madrid.
That data has been made available online, at no cost, in an open-access pool of information that's graphically represented on city maps.
Edgar Blanco, research director at MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics and the initiator of the project, explains that it arose from the realization that "some of the things we take for granted don't exist" in many rapidly growing cities in the developing world. A better understanding of the supply chains needed to support those burgeoning populations was also essential, he says, for both business and regulatory planning.
"All the models we have tried using for logistics [based on experience in the industrialized world] were not applicable," Blanco adds. "We need to learn more about the logistics in megacities, mostly because they represent the future of urbanization."
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