Greg Lindsay's Blog

July 09, 2022  |  permalink

How so-called “quick commerce” is “damaging the cityscape”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Carey L. Biron was kind enough to include me as the fly-in-the-ointment in his recent story on online grocery delivery’s effects on cities. While most of the sources quoted gush about its prospects to alleviate food deserts (doubtful, given their focus on non-perishable, high-turnover SKUs), I sounded a more cautious note, one familiar to anyone who read my Bloomberg Citylab story with Lev Kushner from last December. Here’s my brief contribution:

Prioritizing delivery services can end up “damaging the cityscape,” said Greg Lindsay, a senior fellow at NewCities, a global nonprofit.

In an effort to be as close as possible to customers, some delivery groups have taken over storefronts as “microwarehouses” and logistics hubs that can detract from street life and thus potentially hurt other shops, he said.

“It was already hard enough to make it as a small business, and this makes it harder to survive,” he said.

Read the entire thing here.

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Greg Lindsay is a generalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He is the chief communications officer at Climate Alpha, an urban tech fellow at Cornell Tech’s Jacobs Institute, , a senior fellow of MIT’s Future Urban Collectives Lab, and a non-resident senior fellow of The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Strategy Initiative.

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