Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Too Many Square Feet

In last Sundays New York Times Magazine, Rob Walker wrote an article entitled “Repurpose-Driven Life.” In the article he cites research conducted by Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson that suggests the United States has too much retail space.

“…in 1986, the United States had about 15 square feet of retail space per person in shopping centers. That was already a world-leading figure, but by 2003 it had increased by a third, to 20 square feet. The next countries on the list are Canada (13 square feet per person) and Australia (6.5 square feet); the highest figure in Europe is in Sweden, with 3 square feet per person.”

This is important to consider in the current debate over CB 29 (ZRA 102) which will govern the process for revitalizing struggling village centers in Columbia. While opponents of the legislation are advocating for more community input and oversight to any village center redevelopment, the real issue is whether these struggling centers simply have too much retail space to begin with.


James P. Howard, II said...

Sweden doesn't count since 70% of that is Ikea.

B. Santos said...

I believe it is difficult to project national numbers to the local level. What would be helpful is to apply the methodology to local regions and compare to other localities to determine applicable metrics to move forward.

Anonymous said...

I wathced some of the hearing on TV and have been reading about thie issue.

It is funny how the opponents advocate more community input when this bill greatly expands the current amount of community input. If this bill fails, KIMCO could simply just ask GGP with very little community input and most of the opponents don't trust GGP either.

They are working against their own self-interests just to oppose something.

Anonymous said...

Rules change depending on how it fits in your own pockets on this site.

Go live in China. Please.