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Re: Recycling Big Box developments

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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@...
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            > 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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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                      >
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                      >
                      >





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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 10 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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