last-mile logistics IN MEXICO CITY.

Creating adaptive and low-cost logistical solutions in downtown Mexico City.


for Megacity Logistics Lab @ MIT and undergraduate thesis (urban planning)


5 months


Hans Sperber (data collection)
Megacity Logistics Lab Research Team (KM2 platform)


Fly-on-the-Wall Observation
Literature Review


MS Excel
MS Access


Research Objectives 

  • Conduct site inventory to document key characteristics relevant to freight performance.

  • Identify freight challenges and the context that contributed to the challenges.

  • Understand the impact of road pedestrianization to local freight and businesses challenges.

  • Propose potential design improvements that utilize existing infrastructure.


Research Outcome

  • Qualitative data contribution to the KM2 Platform (last-mile logistics data of various megacities)

  • Analysis on potential impacts of last-mile logistics to urban health in Mexico City

  • Early-stage design proposal to improve existing logistics challenges in Mexico City



Research Outline

Mexico City-03.png


Collect & Visualize Logistics Data

As a researcher of the KM2 project under MIT’s Megacity Logistics Lab, I collected logistics data relevant to delivery performance in Mexico City. 

The data was then uploaded to the KM2 Platform – an interactive map that displays logistics data of ten Megacities (cities with over ten million people). 

To the right, each circle represents one shop, and the radius of each point represents the width of the storefront (assuming similar shop depth).


The screenshot is taken from



Establish Hypotheses

Based on the site study and literature review, I hypothesized that the City's recent road pedestrianization effort may have a negative impact on freight efficiency and may worsen traffic on adjacent streets that allow automobile travel (vehicular street). 



Cross-country Survey Collaboration

To test my hypothesis, two surveys were carried out by local Mexico university students on-site. The students' background (trusted local institute), fluency in Spanish, and local knowledge have helped increase survey participation.

According to Survey 1, the number of businesses increased after road pedestrianization. Survey 2 showed that roadway pedestrianization has had a negative impact on delivery efficiency.



Propose Design to Reduce Freight Impact

Taking into account the findings and Calle Mesones’ infrastructure, I proposed design improvement options which would reduce the traffic disruptions and pedestrian safety issues posed by existing freight activities.



Next Steps

Due to time constraints , the thesis research did not involve insights or support from city officials in Mexico City. Connecting and getting comments from city officials will be critical to verify the legitimacy of research finding and design proposals.