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A Healthy Mix?

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

Series:

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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6 The case study

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The description of the study results begins with a detailed analysis of the site. The City of Irvine, the MXD’s location, history, and design will be outlined. Subsequently, the hypotheses will be tested and complemented by additional insights into aspects they did not cover. Finally, results will be summarized and discussed. 6.1 The study site 6.1.1 The City of Irvine and the Irvine Business Complex Park Place is located in the City of Irvine in Orange County, California. The study site is therefore situated in one of the densest populated regions in the U.S., with Los Angeles as the central city. However, Irvine, although 60 kilometers southeast of L.A. (cf. Map 6.1), is not dependent on Los Angeles and can thus be considered “post-suburban” (cf. Chapter 2.1.1). In the following, the reasons for this independence will be explained in order to show why Irvine is an appropriate place to conduct this research and to outline the context the case is embedded in. Map 6.1: Map of the Greater Los Angeles Area (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GreaterLAmap.png (Karl Musser, 22 July 2009)) 6 The case study The description of the study results begins with a detailed analysis of the site. The City of Irvine, the MXD’s location, history, and design will be outlined. Subsequently, the hypotheses will be tested and complemented by additional insights into aspects they did not cover. Finally, results will be summarized and discussed. 6.1 The study site . .1 The City of Irvine and the Irvine Business Complex Park...

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