The MetroFreight education program is aimed at raising the visibility of urban freight as a field of study, engaging students, and training the professional workforce. Our guiding principle is to develop a global network of scholars better equipped to analyze urban freight issues and public and private professionals better able to anticipate and respond to the challenges of urban freight. We are developing new courses and training modules that build on existing programs at partner institutions. Curriculum materials are widely transferable and will provide value for urban freight researchers around the world.
The education strategy involves two dimensions: 1) development of curriculum materials that can be used by scholars, practitioners and the general public; 2) professional training, including formal (accredited) and informal programs to train scholars and practitioners in concepts, methods, and applications of city logistics. Our educational approach recognizes the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of urban freight.
MetroFreight Curriculum Guide
The MetroFreight Curriculum Guide is the result of an international scan of curricular materials, readings, case studies, media, exercise and examples of experiential learning. This project was designed in part to help us identify the current state of the art in urban freight education as well as gaps in the curriculum. The dataset will be updated throughout the life of the grant. The Guide currently has 362 entries, sortable by source type and format (e.g. curriculum, YouTube video, short course, etc.), primary author or developer, title, target audience (e.g. professional training, undergraduate level course, graduate level course), and year of completion. We also indicate if the entry has any particular regional or geographic focus. A link to the Curriculum Guide Searchable Database will be available shortly.
Graduate course on urban freight
We have developed an interdisciplinary urban freight graduate course offered in distance format. The course is organized around three themes: (1) Freight and the City; (2) Issues and Challenges of City Logistics; and (3) City Logistics in Practice. Freight and the City provides background on city logistics and its evolution in response to globalization. Literature is drawn from urban geography, planning, supply chain management, and economics. Issues and Challenges discusses freight stakeholders, impacts of urban freight, and mitigation strategies. City Logistics in Practice addresses data and modeling, and case studies of best practices. The course was piloted at the City University of New York in the spring semester of 2015, with participation of graduate students at the University of Southern California. The course will be refined in the coming year, and the course content will be made available for use at other universities.
Development of short courses
An industry-focused short course will be piloted in Los Angeles in 2015. Some of the format and content has been tested as part of other professional development trainings offered in Los Angeles.
Two short courses in urban freight are under development, one for the goods movement industry, and one for policymakers. The first test courses will be offered in Los Angeles and Paris. The courses will be developed locally to incorporate the issues that professionals in each metro area face and to make participants more aware of current trends in urban freight and the range of possible solutions. Over the course of the grant period, training courses will be extended to New York and Seoul, and be made available to the international professional community.
For each of the above, we leverage other efforts of consortium members to test materials as well as to extend the reach of MetroFreight work. These other efforts include a new train-the-trainer course on logistics, supply chain management and port operations for high school teachers being implemented in Long Beach in the spring of 2015.