Retail Sprawl

From the Business section of today’s Chicago Tribune:

“In the past, fueling growth was as easy as building a big retail box on an empty farm field. For the past three decades, retail space grew roughly five times faster than the population.”

That’s a testament to the causes of sprawl and non-sustainable development.


Do we have five times as much stuff as we did in 1980? Perhaps, or perhaps the stuff we have doesn’t last as long as it did in 1980. Or maybe our quality of life is five times better? Not by my reckoning. But we have a lot fewer “empty” farm fields, and the big boxes are still coming – including one at the Wilderness battleground in Virginia, where Wal-Mart wants another store, even with two already within a 20-minute drive.

Is this an efficient economy?

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One Response to “Retail Sprawl”

  1. Friday Links « Preservation in Pink Says:

    […] up — head over to Time Tells by Vince Michael (of the NTHP) and share your comments on his Retail Sprawl […]

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