Big Box Retailers Skew Vancouver's 'EcoDensity' Plans

<p>Plans for "EcoDensity" in Vancouver are at odd with the city's willingness to allow big box development, according to this article.</p>
November 9, 2007, 8am PST | Nate Berg
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"The stated object of Mayor Sullivan's EcoDensity initiative is to reduce Vancouver's 'eco-footprint' by cutting energy use and waste, while improving livability and housing affordability."

"The apparent willingness of the mayor and some councillors to significantly expand big box development in South Vancouver is clearly at odds with EcoDensity."

"In sharp contrast, big box retail exploits economies of scale, relying on a widely dispersed customer base, public subsidies for car owners, and plenty of cheap parking."

"'Green' building design of a box store does not alter its fundamental dependency on cars and fossil fuels."

"And while multi-chain big box plantations can be cost-effective and convenient for car-owning consumers, it's always at the expense of commercial diversity and stability in central and neighbourhood business districts. Retailers in our pedestrian-oriented centres pay premium rents for their location, often with limited or pricey parking. Big box retailers compete unfairly by converting lower-cost industrial land to retail use, while asking us all to suffer the consequences of car dependency."

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Published on Thursday, November 8, 2007 in The Tyee
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