Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

bradsp

New Urbanism vs the big box and the bad neighbor

6 posts in this topic

This thread is a discussion regarding how big box or the bad neighbor affects those quaint mixed use placeful neighborhoods called new urban neighborhoods. The struggles, the failures, the heroes and the villains of these new urban neighborhoods is appropriate information for this thread.

-A definition of New Urbanism is stuck at the beginning of this forum. I am more of a purist who is into new urbanist revival of pre nineteenth century neighborhoods. I mention this New Urban variation because these classic neighborhoods act as good examples of New Urban "new development" Whether the neighborhood is old or new the enemies are the same.

-An example of damaging development can sometimes include shopping malls, casinos, freeways, porn theatres or individuals and organizations such as, derelict-speculators, corrupt/derelict leadership etc. I am leaving out why these can be bad because I am sure the reasoning will come out in this thread if we collectively think through this topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Current zoning laws are sometimes the worst things for established older urban neighborhoods. Most zoning laws require stupid parking minimums and setbacks that would make building a replica of the houses in the current neighborhood illegal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For that very reason, parking, I don't think big box retail is that compatible with neighborhoods. I realize there are attempts to make them so, but these big boxes have a business plan that assumes cheap construction, and dependence on the automobile (as they don't have any or little involvement in the infrastructure) to maximize their profits. Only in locations where there are very strict zoning and other requirements for construction will these places be forced to building something more accommodating. Not surprisingly, the big boxes will avoid these areas as they have no interest in sacrificing some profits for the public good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For that very reason, parking, I don't think big box retail is that compatible with neighborhoods. I realize there are attempts to make them so, but these big boxes have a business plan that assumes cheap construction, and dependence on the automobile (as they don't have any or little involvement in the infrastructure) to maximize their profits. Only in locations where there are very strict zoning and other requirements for construction will these places be forced to building something more accommodating. Not surprisingly, the big boxes will avoid these areas as they have no interest in sacrificing some profits for the public good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They dont normally do that unless their is city ordinance mandated them to build up to street. I know Salt Lake City has this ordianance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the reasons that it is rare to find a big box close the street with parking in the rear is the fact it would require the big box to have entrances at the front and rear of the store which presents security issues. Its easier for a shoplifter to get away from a big box with many exits than a conventional big box with only two or three exits in the front only. Meijer, a Michigan grocer and retailer, had stores with both front and rear entrances but the rear entrances were eliminated over the years due to shoplifting concerns.

What I don't understand is why no big box developers seem to want to deviate from the norm at all. Why not build the same amount of parking as they normally would, only put it to the rear of the lot and build the building up to the street? That's no more expensive than the normal big box layout, but it adds to street activity and makes walking to the development and taking the bus there much more efficient. Setting the stores way back from the street and then requiring buses to go into the plazas (which is what happens almost always) wastes valuable transit commute time. Most suburban developments have bus service (and in some smaller transit areas, these routes are the busiest), so why not consider that EVER?

Like I haven't posted this pic enough already:

urbanshoppingqueens.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.