Sustainability perspective of supporting local, independent businesses, as opposed to chains

Philip D. Allsopp, D.Arch., RIBA, FRSA

Phil is a committee member of the 2011 Conference at Noosa in Qld Australia, and a keynote speaker, he will be speaking at  Arizona American Planning Association (APA) State Conference, in Phoenix, November 2010

Sustainability is often described as having an economic, social and environmental component (and land use would affect all of these).

The session will include a discussion of the benefits, from a broad sustainability perspective of supporting local, independent businesses, as opposed to chains. For planners, there are several implications, from economic development (for instance, relating to the fact that, dollar for dollar and square foot to square foot, considerably more money is returned to the local community from local businesses as from chains) to environmental (a greater ability to do adaptive reuse) to the land use implications of supporting smaller, independent businesses and the impact on creating sustainable, walkable, more attractive commercial and activity areas.

As “Local First” efforts multiply, both within Arizona as well as nationally, they will increasingly have an impact on planning efforts and, conversely, planning decisions that will have impacts on the ability of local businesses to survive and prosper.

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