Bookstores, cities, and shared streets

For me, a new house or apartment doesn’t truly feel like home until I begin to fill it with books. Books serve as familiars and friends: re-reading an old favourite can bring me back to places, people, and feelings that I had filed away in my memory, while encountering a new book is like befriending an interesting stranger.…
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City size, variety, and consumer surplus

In the 1990s, in the early years of the information technology revolution, economist Robert Solow famously commented that “you can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” Two decades on, that still rings true. Social life has been profoundly transformed by new technology: It has altered the way we communicate with friends and family, how we entertain ourselves, and even how we date.…
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Do parking minimums restrict competition?

During the Unitary Plan submissions process, a number of retailers and shopping centre owners took a pretty conservative stance on transport. They argued for maintaining parking minimums, replacing maximums with minimums in some areas, and so on. Some argued that cars would always be the main way of getting to shops, and this should be written into the Unitary Plan.…
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Sunday reading 11 January 2015

Every week we read more than we can write about on the blog. To avoid letting good commentary and research fall by the wayside, we’re going to publish weekly excerpts from what we’ve been reading. McKenzie Funk, “The Wreck of the Kulluk“, New York Times:The Arctic was a long-term investment — Shell would not start production on such a big project in such a distant place until at least a decade after it found oil — but the future is always getting closer, and by 2010 the company was anxious.…
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Warehouse’s plans for Balmoral

Interesting news about the Warehouse’s future plans for their site in Balmoral Say goodbye to the big red box on Balmoral Rd. A cafe and apartments are included in The Warehouse’s plans for a major redevelopment on the site. A two-building, 7130 square metre complex including The Warehouse, 34 apartments, and 234 car parking spaces will be built if the retail giant’s property company, Eldamos Investments, is granted resource consent by Auckland Council.…
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A new form of station retailing?

Transport for London have announced that next year they will shut down the ticket offices at Tube stations.  However while its partly a cost saving measure – as staffing costs are one of the most expensive parts of running a PT system – it also creates opportunities to raise revenue from the freed up space and TfL are already considering how they may do  that.…
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Lower Queen St the place to be for retailers

An interesting article yesterday on what is happening in the retail building market in central Auckland. Cruise ship passengers and Auckland shoppers are providing the impetus for the redevelopment and popularity of the lower Queen St retail area, says Nilesh Patel, associate director of retail services at CBRE.…
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