This paper examines the spatial pattern of food discount stores in Switzerland, where private actors made location decisions without interference from planning regulations until 2016. Using aerial images and a classification scheme with functional and morphological attributes, the study shows that the majority of discount stores were built in peripheral commercial areas or greenfield sites as solitary buildings, indicating a preference for minimal land acquisition costs and car orientation. Some integrated central locations were also chosen. The average density measured by floor area ratio was low. The results suggest that without planning intervention, private actors’ decisions would lead to sprawled settlement patterns with high ecological and societal costs. Further research is needed to explore the potential role of planning in mitigating this effect.
|Number of pages||16|
|Early online date||30 Mar 2023|
|Publication status||Published online - 30 Mar 2023|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A.H.H. is being supported under the PostDoc.Mobility scheme by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) (grant number: P500PS_202951).
© 2023 by the authors.
- planning law
- retail planning
- planning legitimacy
- aerial images analysis
- patterns of urban sprawl
- effect-of-cause study