Rethinking the Warehouse: Urban Space and Economy in an Age of Smart Logistics
Leigh, Nancey Green
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Urban logistics automation is collapsing traditional boundaries between storage and delivery, extending the warehouse presence in the built environment. At the same time, the growth of e-commerce combined with logistics' need to avoid pauses or "friction" means that unprecedented volumes of goods are in near constant motion. This talk explores the potential of e-commerce driven changes to supply chain logistics, as well as consumer and business purchasing patterns, to alter the pattern of warehousing and more within metropolitan areas. There are a broad range of accompanying impacts for urban and local economic development. These include impacts on retail stores, warehouses, land-uses, transportation networks, workforce, policy and regulations (e.g., zoning). They are distinguishable by whether they impact most the "last-mile" aspect of supply chain and logistics, or the larger supply chain network linked to distribution and fulfillment centers.