Understanding urban food deserts from a geo-data driven perspective

Claudio Ortega, M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


The concept of urban food deserts has been extensively analyzed and documented in developed countries, but in the Global South, it has not. Since developing countries have a distinct retail sector composition, its necessary to analyze and rethink the way to understand this concept. In developing countries and, specifically, in Peru, 70% of the retail channel are from small traditional retailers called nanostores, which complicate the last-mile logistics. In this sense, this paper analyzes the case of Lima, Peru regarding its fruit and vegetables logistics distribution system from a geodata-driven perspective by using 1) Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to theoretically identify urban food desert zones and 2) a clustering technique to obtain the different nanostores profiles and assess the validity of point 1. Furthermore, in this case of study, it was inferred that the healthy food supply is related to specific nanostores characteristics. Finally, the urban food desert conceptualization in current literature does not apply for urban areas in the case of Lima, Peru.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2021
Event2020–2021 MIT SCALE Latin America Conference - Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT, Cambridge, United States
Duration: 21 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


Conference2020–2021 MIT SCALE Latin America Conference
Abbreviated titleMIT SCALE LA
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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