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July 5, 2022 29 mins

With e-commerce largely replacing brick-and-mortar stores, how we shop is having real, physical effects on how our cities work. So in this episode, we’re looking at all things retail: As consumers, have we become addicted to convenience? How are businesses able to offer us even quicker delivery times than ever before, sometimes within even 15 minutes – and what is that doing to our main streets? What is the “last mile,” and why is it so important for making sure we’re taking care of the environment? Adrian speaks to Josué Velázquez Martínez, the director of the MIT Sustainable Supply Chain Lab, about the ins and outs of how products get to where they need to be – and why e-commerce, if done more thoughtfully, could actually be better for our planet. Plus, we hear from Alex Bitterman, a professor and the chair of Architecture and Design at Alfred State University of New York, about the rise of “dark stores”: private warehouses in the heart of our cities that allow for extra-speedy delivery times, while simultaneously threatening to snuff out our main streets.

 

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