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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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AB 32 Assembly Bill 32 – California Global Warming Solutions Act ARB California Air Resources Board EIR Environmental Impact Report EIS Environmental Impact Statement EPA US Environmental Protection Agency GHG Green house gas IBC Irvine Business Complex IEA International Energy Agency IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change MKT Monthly kilometers traveled MMI Mother’s Market Irvine MXD Mixed use development OC Occasional consumer of the mixed use centered specialty store OTH other stores RC Regular consumer of the mixed use centered specialty store SB 375 State Bill 375, State of California TOD Transit-oriented development TRB Transportation Research Board UCI University of California, Irvine ULI Urban Land Institute VMT Vehicle miles traveled Statistical Abbreviations D Indicator for the Kolmogorov-Smirnov-test M Mean value of a distribution Mdn Median value of a distribution sig. Significance (if sig. < level of significance (usually 0.05), the test- result is significant) τ Indicator for Kendall’s tau-b correlation coefficient

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