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A Healthy Mix?

Health-Food Retail and Mixed-Use Development- Mobility-related Analysis of Grocery-Shopping Behavior in Irvine, California


Benjamin Heldt

Mixed-use developments are one of the means planners use to realize land-use changes required by SB375 to encounter climate change. The mix of land uses is intended to reduce distances between activities. However, for their economic viability, such projects require specialty retail as anchor tenants which draw a special customer base that may be willing to travel far. Consequently, specialty may contradict a mixed-use development’s intention to reduce traffic. This research looks into the spatial behavior of the customers of a health-food store that is located at the mixed-use development «Park Place» in Irvine, CA. Using a POS-intercept survey and GIS, the author found that regular health-food shoppers indeed travel significantly farther distances than occasional health-food shoppers.


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List of figures IX List of maps XII List of tables XIII List of examples XV Abbreviations XVII Statistical Abbreviations XVII Summary XIX 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Research question 2 1.2 Terms used 2 1.3 Composition of the study 3 2 Sprawling cities - or the convenience and inconvenience of everyday life 7 2.1 Sprawl and Anti-Sprawl 7 2.1.1 History of U.S. urban development 7 2.1.2 Sprawl, transportation, and related problems 9 2.2. What can be done against sprawl? 10 2.3 The role of retail and shopping 13 2.4 Conclusion 14 3 Mixed use development and health food retail 15 3.1 Mixed use development 15 3.2 Health food retail 18 3.3 Conclusion 19 4 Theories and empirics of shopping travel behavior 21 4.1 Developing a theoretical framework 21 4.1.1 State of research in transportation and urban planning 21 4.1.2 Activity-based analysis of spatial shopping behavior 27 4.1.3 Built environment or retail characteristics? 30 4.1.4 Conclusion 42 4.2 Empirical evidence on spatial consumer behavior 44 4.3 Mode choice 45 4.4 Conclusion: development of hypotheses 46 VIII Summary 4.4.1 Motivations 47 4.4.2 Distance 48 4.4.3 Distance and motivations 49 4.4.4 Trip-chaining and mode choice 49 5 Methodology 51 5.1 Research design: case study 51 5.2 Site selection 52 5.3 Operationalization 53 5.3.1 Endogenous variables: travel behavior 53 5.3.2 Exogenous variables 54 5.4 Quantitative methods: the survey 55 5.5 Qualitative methods 57 5.6 Data preparation 58 5.7 Analysis 59 6 The case study 60 6.1 The study site 60 6.1.1 The City of...

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