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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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5 Methodology


5.1 Research design: case study In order to address the research question and test the hypotheses, a case study design has been chosen to thoroughly analyze different aspects of one case. According to YIN (2009, p. 48), the case investigated here can be treated as a critical case, as it is very likely that there is no other MXD that contains a health food store – thus a single case study is sufficient for the present research. Furthermore, the case consists of occasional and regular users of the analyzed store and consequently it can also be viewed as an embedded case study de- sign (YIN 2009, pp. 50-53). Figure 5.1: Methodological schedule (source: own design) To ensure reliability, several sources and methods have been applied to this single case (YIN 2009, pp. 114-118). Accordingly, the research design is composed of a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods outlined below (cf. Figure 5.1). 52 5 Methodology The following will describe how the site was selected and how the main re- search instrument, the questionnaire, was developed and the survey conducted. Next, additional qualitative methods will be described and it will be shown how the data has been prepared and analyzed by means of mapping and statistically testing as well as qualitative analyses. 5.2 Site selection As the place to conduct the study, the City of Irvine in Southern California was selected. California’s SB 375 was the point of departure in this study (cf. Chap- ter 2.2). Consequently, this research took place in...

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