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Re: Recycling Big Box developments

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  • e15lineman
    Big boxes don t grow if you don t subsidize them: Cheap fuel for driving there Local government-paid for road improvements Untaxed customer labor vs. taxed
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 7, 2005
      Big boxes don't grow if you don't subsidize them:
      Cheap fuel for driving there
      Local government-paid for road improvements
      Untaxed customer labor vs. taxed store labor
      Low tax on low value expansive parking lot

      Shift taxes from labor and buildings and onto land values, and you'll see compact communities, cared-for buildings, and very very few big box stores.
    • Todd Edelman
      ... from: OK. Freeze, illegalise or disable through ECIP (External-Cost Internalising Planning) any more big boxes.
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 7, 2005
        --- Lloyd Wright <LFWright@...> forwarded:
        >
        > The recycling process should begin when big boxes
        > are planned, not when they
        > become empty, says David Mohney, dean of the
        > University of Kentucky College of
        > Design. That's why many cities, including Lexington,
        > have ordinances to
        > regulate the location and design of big boxes.

        from: <http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=8960>

        OK. Freeze, illegalise or disable through ECIP
        (External-Cost Internalising Planning) any more big
        boxes.

        With big boxes on major highways, first modify
        highways as appropriate/technically possible with
        trams, commuter rail or bus rapid transit, bridle and
        cycle paths, artificial streams, linear parks, etc and
        turn big box areas and parking lots into carfree
        villages.

        Todd





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      • tokyotuds
        The only way to properly recycle big box stores is to have an environmentally responsible wrecker salvage and sort the building materials after knocking it
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 7, 2005
          The only way to properly recycle big box stores is to have an environmentally responsible
          wrecker salvage and sort the building materials after knocking it down. Pull up the pavement
          and send it back to the tarpits if such material can be reused. Then redevelop the large piece
          of contingous land into medium to high density mixed use development.

          That's recycling!

          Mata,
          Tuds

          PS I know the first rule of recyclnig is reuse, but the monstosity of a big box will only
          perpetuate further bad planning.
        • J.H. Crawford
          ... That part is right. ... Nope, return it to farmland. The land is too far away from anything to be worth redeveloping in any form, unless it s part of an
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 8, 2005
            Tuds said:

            >The only way to properly recycle big box stores is to have an
            >environmentally responsible
            >wrecker salvage and sort the building materials after knocking it
            >down. Pull up the pavement
            >and send it back to the tarpits if such material can be reused.

            That part is right.

            >Then
            >redevelop the large piece
            >of contingous land into medium to high density mixed use development.

            Nope, return it to farmland. The land is too far away from
            anything to be worth redeveloping in any form, unless it's
            part of an entire carfree finger connecting to downtown,
            almost certainly with rail service. The reason these places
            are where they are is the cheap land next to the highway,
            far from downtown.

            Regards,



            ------ ### -----
            J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities
            mailbox@... http://www.carfree.com
          • Todd Edelman
            In reference to: J.H. Crawford suggested that big box areas should be returned to agricultural
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 8, 2005
              In reference to:
              <http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=8960>

              "J.H. Crawford" <mailbox@...> suggested that
              big box areas should be returned to agricultural
              use...

              OR HOW ABOUT: Green space for non-people - if a nearby
              pre-converted highway doesnt interfere - as I assume
              it could have been something else before it was used
              for agriculture, eh?

              Agriculture would continue to bring in tax revenues at
              a local level at least (excluding federal subsidies)
              unlike a park or nature reserve/human-exclusion area,
              BUT can we think of other non-automobile traffic
              inducing ways to have the place generate cash? (Of
              course nature restoration does have a significant
              monetary value, too)

              ---

              What about malls INSIDE urban areas, not at the
              periphery? There are many examples of these, including
              my beloved (!) Fox Hills Mall
              <http://www.skyhoundwireless.com/images/mapimageFH.gif>
              in Culver City, California, where I learned to play
              automobile-themed video games, in the pre-Nintendo
              era.

              As we have discussed before here - but I think this is
              an interesting discussion - turn the parking lots and
              structures into housing, keep the mall mostly as-is
              but add some convienience stores and all night diners
              and clubs and of course better public transport to
              keep people coming to the mall? Outside of the
              "Residence at the Old Parking Lot", this "WalkMall"
              would be within walking distance of thousands of
              people and bikeable or less than a few transit stops
              away for tens of thousands.

              Also consider having the mall have a roof which opens
              and closes, etc.

              Or destroy it? Is it just too close to the "freeway"?
              Emissions might not increase so much in the near
              future, but noise will certainly not decrease.

              ----

              On a related note there is a new Carrefour shopping
              centre (Vrsovice) not far from the centre of Prague
              which is about 50m from the main rail corridor to the
              south.

              There is no rail link now, but within the expanding
              suburban rail system it is not inconceivable that a
              stop could be built here, which would also put the
              tens of thousands of residents nearby two stops and
              seven minutes from the main train station, which is at
              the edge of the historical centre. BUT it is about
              1km to the next station towards the centre, and 2km to
              the next station towards the outside of town (kind of
              short for rail; there is some redundancy). It could
              also serve a nearby small sports stadium. It would be
              the only major shopping centre directly on a train
              line in Prague, and therefore give carfree
              accessibility to the centre for the peripheral areas
              and villages - stops are at 2 to 3km intervals - up to
              30-min away by train. It could do the same for others
              living close to other stations. There are no subway
              stops at this location.

              Realising that having 30-min non-peak intervals for
              trains could inconvienience some shoppers, I think a
              solution could be to have a big display showing next
              train departures (the big new stadium near a train
              station here has this) and even some kind of guarantee
              that checkout (cash register) staff would be added as
              necessary to ensure that if people get into line to
              pay at a certain time they know they can catch the
              next train... also, since free parking would continue,
              shoppers could pay with an integrated smart card that
              could give them a discount on the train.

              At best this is "car-harm reduction" (I think an
              appropriate adaptation of the drug-abuse term), but it
              would still continue to make life difficult for small
              businesses - though I should say many smaller shops in
              Prague have gotten pretty clever about stocking small
              amounts of many things, and being personal, etc... and
              they know they are walkable. Stores in smaller towns
              and villages have not been as creative and of course
              it is more difficult to make deliveries there. But at
              the same time if there was no way - if driving costs
              for individuals become prohibative - to get to a shop
              some distance away market pressures could induce the
              village shops to expand.

              Or, do we just kill it? OR not do anything to make it
              more viable commercially?

              Ok, I just got some more ideas but right now I need to
              enable my companion animals to go outside - and
              perhaps you all do?

              Todd, Green Idea Factory
              "...if there is a solution, there is a solution..."



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            • Mike Morin
              ... Actually, the first rule of recycling is reduce ;-) But you know that... In other words, don t build the damn sprawl in the first place. However, in many
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 8, 2005
                > PS I know the first rule of recycling is reuse, but the monstrosity of a
                > big box will only
                > perpetuate further bad planning.

                Actually, the first rule of recycling is reduce ;-) But you know that...

                In other words, don't build the damn sprawl in the first place. However, in
                many or most places it is too late. I can imagine reusing big boxes as part
                of a mixed use community. It takes a lot of imagination, but a big box and
                its parking lot could probably be converted into a mixed use community.

                How long will it be before big boxes are available in the market and if and
                when they become available who will finance the development of the mixed use
                community?

                It's one thing to preach the ideal and another to participate in the
                realization of such.


                Mike Morin

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: "tokyotuds" <ktuttle@...>
                To: <carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Friday, October 07, 2005 10:41 PM
                Subject: [carfree_cities] Re: Recycling Big Box developments


                > The only way to properly recycle big box stores is to have an
                > environmentally responsible
                > wrecker salvage and sort the building materials after knocking it down.
                > Pull up the pavement
                > and send it back to the tarpits if such material can be reused. Then
                > redevelop the large piece
                > of contingous land into medium to high density mixed use development.
                >
                > That's recycling!
                >
                > Mata,
                > Tuds
                >
                > PS I know the first rule of recyclnig is reuse, but the monstosity of a
                > big box will only
                > perpetuate further bad planning.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Post messages to: carfree_cities@...
                > Unsubscribe (blank message): carfree_cities-unsubscribe@...
                > Group address: http://www.egroups.com/group/carfree_cities/
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
              • tokyotuds
                ... Oops, can I claim being tired when I said the first rule was reuse? Reduce, reuse, recycle has been my mantra for nearly 20 years, but 15 years ago I
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 8, 2005
                  --- In carfree_cities@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Morin" <mikemorin@e...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > PS I know the first rule of recycling is reuse, but the monstrosity of a
                  > > big box will only
                  > > perpetuate further bad planning.
                  >
                  > Mike Morin said:
                  > Actually, the first rule of recycling is reduce ;-) But you know that...
                  >
                  > In other words, don't build the damn sprawl in the first place. >

                  Oops, can I claim being tired when I said the first rule was reuse? Reduce, reuse, recycle
                  has been my mantra for nearly 20 years, but 15 years ago I adopted what many people
                  recommended as the "New First Rule": Refuse.

                  I think "Don't build the damn sprawl in the first place" qualifies as Refuse, and I agree
                  100%.

                  My thanks to Mr Crawford for pointing out earlier that big boxes are built on the edge of
                  the city or even in the coutryside due to cheap land. So, it's better in those cases to return
                  it to farmland or green space. If we Reuse the big box, then turning the parking lot into
                  medium to high density mixed use could be a plan, but if we tear down the big box and
                  the land is still adjacent to country-side, I agree we should return it to countryside.

                  I'm thinking of some of the big boxes in Toronto, Burlington and London Ontario where
                  the suburban sprawl has already swallowed up all the land in every direction around the
                  big boxes. Older big boxes, strip malls and the like are no longer adjacent to the
                  coutryside.

                  Here in Japan there is the Large Scale Retailer Law which has protected the small mom and
                  pop retailer for 50 years. Until recently, the only large retailer that could be built was
                  department stores. Every neighbourhood still has a small, local "shotengai" shopping
                  street, a main street if you will, even in the center of Tokyo.

                  I live about 1.5 km as the crow flies from the Imperial Palace, but the shotengai here is
                  just beautiful. There are merchants who have been on that street for 8 or 10 generations.
                  It's wonderful! It's about 1km long, and every Sunday and Holiday it is closed to traffic:
                  that is, Carfree!

                  So, my point is, until recently Japan has Refused big box retailers. Sadly, this is changing.
                  They are allowing exceptions now and there are a few Costcos in Greater Tokyo, as well as
                  2 bankrupt Carrefours, and in spring 2006 the first Ikea in Japan will open. We'll see what
                  happens.

                  Cheers,
                  Tuds
                • Dan Kliman
                  ... But not always. I used to live in the very depressed city of St. Louis, and a HUGE debate there is about building big box developments in town. There is
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 8, 2005
                    > My thanks to Mr Crawford for pointing out earlier
                    > that big boxes are built on the edge of
                    > the city or even in the coutryside due to cheap
                    > land.

                    But not always. I used to live in the very depressed
                    city of St. Louis, and a HUGE debate there is about
                    building big box developments in town. There is no
                    lack of space or cheap land, sadly, as the city is
                    more than half empty (pop 315,000, down from a peak of
                    850,000) and most of the shopping gets done in the
                    suburbs.

                    There the debate comes down to bringing commerce into
                    the city (and keeping the people that still live in
                    the city shopping in the city) vs. trying to build
                    walkable communities. The latter, while the ideal, is
                    hampered by lack of population that care and lack of
                    population in absolute numbers.

                    Meanwhile, I've noticed "big box type" of stores in
                    San Francisco, without the giant parking lots,
                    seemingly integrated into the existing streetscape.
                    These mostly are the office/technology type places
                    such as Circuit City and Office Max.

                    Dan
                    Oakland, CA

                    http://www.geocities.com/dankliman
                    http://www.sorryeverybody.com
                  • Ian Fiddies
                    A study conducted by Gothenburg s university and Chalmers tek Göteborg 2050 suggested that big boxes be used as distribution centres. That is to say, places
                    Message 9 of 14 , Oct 9, 2005
                      A study conducted by Gothenburg's university and Chalmers tek "Göteborg
                      2050" suggested that big boxes be used as distribution centres. That is to
                      say, places where the goods we consume and have ordered over the Internet
                      get reloaded for delivery to our local centre so we can walk there and
                      collect them. A spatial analyse in many cases will show that the big boxes
                      are placed around but outside of the city where there is a motorway
                      (highway). Big boxes are placed where the maximum amount of goods can be
                      distributed with the minimal km/ton transport. The problem today is that we
                      get a thousand SUVs each loaded with one bag of groceries instead of one guy
                      with a really big SUV loaded with a thousand bags of groceries.



                      Ian Fiddies
                    • Andrew Dawson
                      ... I use to work for Loblaws( http://www.loblaws.ca ) here in Montreal, it was the store on the corner of Park and Jean Talon, right beside the Park Avenue
                      Message 10 of 14 , Oct 9, 2005
                        Dan Kliman wrote:
                        > > My thanks to Mr Crawford for pointing out earlier
                        > > that big boxes are built on the edge of
                        > > the city or even in the countryside due to cheap
                        > > land.
                        >
                        >But not always. I used to live in the very depressed
                        >city of St. Louis, and a HUGE debate there is about
                        >building big box developments in town. There is no
                        >lack of space or cheap land, sadly, as the city is
                        >more than half empty (pop 315,000, down from a peak of
                        >850,000) and most of the shopping gets done in the
                        >suburbs.
                        >
                        >There the debate comes down to bringing commerce into
                        >the city (and keeping the people that still live in
                        >the city shopping in the city) vs. trying to build
                        >walkable communities. The latter, while the ideal, is
                        >hampered by lack of population that care and lack of
                        >population in absolute numbers.
                        >
                        >Meanwhile, I've noticed "big box type" of stores in
                        >San Francisco, without the giant parking lots,
                        >seemingly integrated into the existing streetscape.
                        >These mostly are the office/technology type places
                        >such as Circuit City and Office Max.

                        I use to work for Loblaws( http://www.loblaws.ca ) here in Montreal, it was
                        the store on the corner of Park and Jean Talon, right beside the Park Avenue
                        metro/train station. One nice thing about the format of the store compared
                        to the suburban counter parts was that the parking was under ground with the
                        store and a park on top.

                        Andrew Dawson
                      • Eric Dupre
                        First, of course gas taxes should be higher, and this will discourage future big boxes. However, I am also struck by the similarities of the empty big boxes to
                        Message 11 of 14 , Oct 10, 2005
                          First, of course gas taxes should be higher, and this
                          will discourage future big boxes.

                          However, I am also struck by the similarities of the
                          empty big boxes to Diocletian's Palace. His luxury
                          palace on the Adriatic -- essentially, a big box made
                          out of stone with better architecture -- became, at
                          the fall of the Roman Empire, a new city. It was
                          interesting to go to that city (Split) and see the
                          "appartments" that used to be rooms in the palace.

                          I'm not an engineer, and I wonder how long the boxes
                          were designed to remain standing, how long the HVAC
                          will remain mold-free, etc. But the idea of a big box
                          becoming the marketplace for a pedestrian community
                          that grows up around it seems both romantic and
                          ironic.

                          Eric

                          --- Todd Edelman <traintowardsthefuture@...>
                          wrote:

                          >
                          > --- Lloyd Wright <LFWright@...> forwarded:
                          > >
                          > > The recycling process should begin when big boxes
                          > > are planned, not when they
                          > > become empty, says David Mohney, dean of the
                          > > University of Kentucky College of
                          > > Design. That's why many cities, including
                          > Lexington,
                          > > have ordinances to
                          > > regulate the location and design of big boxes.
                          >
                          > from: <http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=8960>
                          >
                          > OK. Freeze, illegalise or disable through ECIP
                          > (External-Cost Internalising Planning) any more big
                          > boxes.
                          >
                          > With big boxes on major highways, first modify
                          > highways as appropriate/technically possible with
                          > trams, commuter rail or bus rapid transit, bridle
                          > and
                          > cycle paths, artificial streams, linear parks, etc
                          > and
                          > turn big box areas and parking lots into carfree
                          > villages.
                          >
                          > Todd
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
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                        • Doug Salzmann
                          Aside from the other arguments against recycling this junk, already presented here... The typical big box represents the flimsiest, cheapest, down-and-dirtiest
                          Message 12 of 14 , Oct 10, 2005
                            Aside from the other arguments against recycling this junk, already
                            presented here...

                            The typical big box represents the flimsiest, cheapest, down-and-dirtiest
                            construction techniques and materials possible. These "buildings" aren't
                            intended to be long-lasting -- and they don't last long. Not to mention
                            that they are all unutterably ugly.

                            I guess you could use them as outbuildings, greenhouses and warehouses
                            adjacent to the community gardens the parking lots should become.

                            Please folks, forget these damned things.

                            Pick your favorite city or town. Draw a circle with a half-mile radius
                            around the central square, commons, main intersection, or whatever. When
                            that area is appropriately compact, mixed-use, sustainably urban and
                            urbane, move out to the next zone. And so on.

                            By the time you get to the big boxes, everyone will know what to do.

                            If you need bigger schemes, build carfree cities from the ground up.


                            -Doug




                            On Mon, 10 Oct 2005, Eric Dupre wrote:

                            > First, of course gas taxes should be higher, and this
                            > will discourage future big boxes.
                            >
                            > However, I am also struck by the similarities of the
                            > empty big boxes to Diocletian's Palace. His luxury
                            > palace on the Adriatic -- essentially, a big box made
                            > out of stone with better architecture -- became, at
                            > the fall of the Roman Empire, a new city. It was
                            > interesting to go to that city (Split) and see the
                            > "appartments" that used to be rooms in the palace.
                            >
                            > I'm not an engineer, and I wonder how long the boxes
                            > were designed to remain standing, how long the HVAC
                            > will remain mold-free, etc. But the idea of a big box
                            > becoming the marketplace for a pedestrian community
                            > that grows up around it seems both romantic and
                            > ironic.
                            >
                            > Eric
                            >



                            **************************************

                            "It is dangerous to be right
                            when the government is wrong."

                            -Voltaire

                            **************************************

                            --
                            Doug Salzmann
                            P.O. Box 1007
                            Larkspur, CA 94977
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