Service District Optimization for Urban Food Deserts
68 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2017
Date Written: July 16, 2015
With rising obesity and concern about access to healthy and nutritious food in the United States, research on food deserts has extended over the last years. For identifying the areas whose residents are most susceptible to the consequences of living in a food desert and thus most are the most vulnerable, census data is used. The application of this problem is in this case limited to the City of Philadelphia, PA, allowing for a detailed analysis of the different areas within the city.
Using a heuristic operations research and applying the Maximum Coverage Location Problem approach, suggestions for locations of new supermarkets in Philadelphia’s food deserts are computed. Hereby, different aerial units are used, census tracts and the neighborhoods of Philadelphia. After computations, post-solution analysis methods, such as sensitivity analysis are applied to evaluate and analyze the solutions found, resulting in few but well analyzed suggestions.
The resulting suggestions are discussed and the inﬂuence of the different parameters used in the heuristic approach, as well as the benefits of the different post-solution analysis methods are analyzed and suggestions for further research are given.
Keywords: Food Deserts, Maximum Coverage Location Problem, Leakage Model
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