Going dark: the post-pandemic transformation of the metropolitan retail landscape
by Alex Bitterman and Daniel Baldwin Hess
Since the start of the 2020 crisis, nearly one-third of American households have placed an online grocery order, representing a 200 per cent surge in online grocery shopping, of which more than 26 per cent were first-time online shoppers.
Conversion from bricks-and-mortar stores to dark stores will have an impact on the urban form and built environment, but the darkening of mom-and-pop boutiques will have a much greater effect on the long-term viability of shopping districts, central business districts and high streets (and the neighbourhoods they serve).
This article examines patterns of within-building vertical segregation in Bucharest, Romania under late socialism using micro-data (individual/household level information) from the 1992 Romanian national census. The data allows examination of separation of households according to the floor on which a household is located and according to the residential sector/district of Bucharest. Findings suggest that common social and demographic factors are related to the location of households in both horizontal and vertical dimensions of urban space. We also find that a freely functioning real estate market is not necessary to produce vertical segregation. Consequently, since vertical segregation existed in early and modern capitalist cities – and bearing in mind that the phenomenon existed under socialism too – we conclude that, like horizontal socio-spatial separation, vertical segregation is an intrinsic characteristic of modern cities and a feature of urban space that did not diminish when pre-industrial cities disappeared.
This open access book explores the formation and socio-spatial trajectories of large housing estates. Through case studies of housing estates in 14 European centers, this collection identifies policy measures that have been used to address challenges in housing estates in Europe’s metropolitan centers.
Across Europe, a wave of migrants from war-stricken parts of the world has, since the beginning of the 2015 refugee crisis, washed over national borders. Resulting demographic change has inflamed vigorous debate about the extent to which borders should be controlled and open-migration allowed. In Estonia, a modest migration trend has reversed long-term population decline. In 2015, for the first time in 25 years, Estonia experienced greater immigration than emigration. While an increase in migration may benefit Estonia in the short term through population gains and greater economic productivity, new long- term challenges arise related to social cohesion and poverty.
An article in U.S. News & World Report about plans by government officials in Estonia to roll out free public transportation nationwide, which, if successful, would make the Baltic state the first country to implement such a system, interviews Daniel B. Hess, professor of urban and regional planning in the UB School of Architecture and Planning. “As we continue to urbanize and have denser places that need many people reaching them, there will be an increasing need for public transit to serve these places with high-capacity transit vehicles, such as buses, streetcars or subways,” he said. “Any growing city where there’s a premium on land value and the traffic is choking, and where it’s very expensive to travel by car and park, seems a possibility for free public transport.”
The residential sector is an important target area for achieving Europe’s 2020 energy saving aims. There is virtually no evidence, however, of how incentives for attaining energy efficiency ciency interact with countries’ regional development aims. This paper presents recent experiences from Estonia, where an energy renovation subsidy programme financed with carbon emission trading funds was carried out between 2010 and 2014. We show that despite equal access to subsidies for residents living in various places, a regionally unequal distribution of subsidies occurred.
Daniel B. Hess, a professor of urban planning who studies the socio-economic dynamics of housing, transportation and land use, has been appointed chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at UB, effective January 1, 2018.
A member of the faculty since 2002 and former associate chair of the department, Hess begins his tenure as chair just as he concludes a two-year research fellowship in Estonia at the University of Tartu.
The transition takes place amidst a period of tremendous growth for the program fueled by its city-as-laboratory engagement with Buffalo, and new transdisciplinary research initiatives that address challenges as diverse as climate change and social justice and engage disciplines including architecture, public health, law and engineering.