Research Publication

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Student Theses and Dissertations

Finding a (Food) Way: A GIS Modeling Approach to Quantifying Local Food Transportation Systems

Date of Publication: 2017

Authored by: Anna Bovbjerg Alligood

Type: Master's Thesis

Recommended Citation:

Bovbjerg Alligood, Anna (2017). Finding a (Food) Way: A GIS Modeling Approach to Quantifying Local Food Transportation Systems, University of Washington Master's Degree Thesis.

SCTL Advisor(s): Goodchild, Anne, McCormack, Ed


In recent years the focus on and prioritization of the notion of local food, food access and sustainability has been increasing throughout the U.S., especially in urban areas. The rising demand and growing preference for local produce in turn leads to changes in how we transport food. The supply chains found in urban areas are already complicated and costly, and as demand changes this poses a challenge if the local food movement is to be accommodated in our cities. A new initiative seeks to mitigate these challenges through the introduction of a mobile application that allows users to order local produce online. Logistics modeling was conducted as a case study to support this effort. The goal of the research was to be able to inform and support decision-making on the logistics to support agricultural development and equal food access. The research found that there is opportunity for improvement to how local food is accessed, and that these mobile applications have the possibility to address food accessibility, economic vitality and sustainability, with a lower negative impact on the transportation environment.

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