Thinking Outside the Box on "Big Box" stores in the Future
8/16/2005 08:43:00 AM | Author: baloghblog
Another great post on future planning today: From Walmart to Sustainability

Unplanner takes a look at what the empty big box store could be turned into to support the local community in the future.

A snippet:
At this point, some of you are undoubtedly wondering why? Why go through the hassle, why worry about retrofitting a Walmart or Target. To this, I’d respond that it would be a relatively easy way to squeeze a small but respectable amount of food production on what would have previously been wasted land. Even if the eventual number of people fed by such a setup remains small, it would be better than nothing at all. It would also allow those in more northern latitudes to maintain access to a supply of warmer climate crops that may not be accessible to them in the future. Unlike the creation of a greenhouse system from scratch, this setup would utilize a wealth of previously available building materials without being dependent of imported products or goods.
Another benefit originates out the fact that big box establishments are located in suburban locations, closest to the residents in need of food supplies. Instead of traveling across the country via airplane and truck, that head of lettuce will travel at most, across town probably by foot. Thus, big box farming would potentially introduce some modicum of food security (and variety) to a local population without being dependent on outside inputs.
Finally, this form of farming would depend far more on human labor rather than on the use of machines to succeed. With such a variety of crops being cultivated in as complex of an arrangement as has been described here, more people would inevitably be required to farm this arrangement. This is a good thing. With the collapse of the oil-driven economy, there will be a lot of individuals with time on their hands.
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