The Appeal of In-Town Big Box

Emily Badger recounts the litany of gripes about Big Box stores, then proceeds to present the results of a recent study that shows why they may not be so bad after all.

Using the specific example of a Target store that opened in the progressive community of Davis, California in 2009, Badger discusses the potential benefits of in-town Big Box stores. A study produced by the UC Davis's Institute of Transportation Studies demonstrated that the Target reduced monthly vehicle miles traveled for shoppers without reducing the frequency of shopping trips to downtown Davis.

As it turns out, at least from this example, according to researcher Kristin Lovejoy, "the majority of people shopped at these stores already." So, "this turns out be an example of bringing shopping closer to where people live."

Badger introduces a key caveat however: "Of course, reduced driving is just one policy goal, and the benefit may not be worth it if it comes at the expense of dying mom-and-pop shops (or other social costs). In Davis, though, that's not exactly what happened."

Full Story: Why In-Town Big Box Stores Might Not Be As Awful As You Think

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.
$50.00