Large Scale Retail and Small Scale Neighborhoods: A Challenge to Traditional Design

By David Bowes.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A proposed solution for controlling problems associated with suburban sprawl is the creation of “walkable” neighborhoods based on Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND). TND includes a central core of businesses, including retail, surrounded by residences within walking distance. Two purposes of TND are to promote higher residential density and to reduce driving trips. An issue of concern with TND is that the scale of many common retail stores does not match the scale of a “walkable” neighborhood: modern retail establishments must draw customers from distances too great to walk. Using a formula to compute distances from which people travel to shop at common retail stores based on the concept of market areas, this paper discusses scale economies in retail as a potential problem with widespread use of TND as a solution to suburban sprawl.

Keywords: Retail Development, Traditional Neighborhood Design, Suburban Sprawl, Scale Economies, Urban Economics

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.103-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 812.603KB).

Dr. David Bowes

Associate Professor, Department of Management and Business Administration, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, Louisiana, USA

David Bowes is an Associate Professor of Economics at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. His research interests include urban land use, downtown redevelopment strategies, urban transportation, and environmental quality. He has published papers in the Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Economic Development Quarterly, and College Teaching Methods and Styles Journal. Professor Bowes received a Ph.D. in Economics from Georgia State University.