January 12, 2014
Postgraduate Thesis on Shopping Centre Management

For his postgraduate thesis at the University of Hong Kong, Wing-to Hui surveyed 106 shopping centres along rapid transit lines. The author compared a series of factors and management characteristics against each centre's management efficiency. Management efficiency was calculated by comparing human resource inputs against the achieved rental rates. For example, a shopping centre that […]

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November 30, 2013
Does the LCBO Help or Hurt Small Town Ontario Downtowns?

On a camping trip last summer I drove through a desolate main street in a small Ontario town looking for a place to pick up beer. The whole street was being ripped up for a beautification project funded by the Province, ostensibly in an attempt to draw customers back downtown. I think the expression "putting […]

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November 23, 2013
Parking and Retail Development

Is this really a sustainable retail development? While developers and retailers alike may think customers require excessive amounts of parking, changes in demographics and consumer preferences may prove otherwise. Image from the ICSC International Outlet Journal, Summer 2009, Volume 5, Number 3 edition. While current trends show that automobile use is likely on the decline […]

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November 17, 2013
Retail and Economic Mobility

I have been helping to organize an event held by the City of Toronto called the Chief Planner Roundtable. One of the common themes emerging from these discussions is how the design of our suburbs is not conducive to economic mobility for new immigrants. In the past, newcomers to Toronto lived in neighbourhoods like Kensington Market […]

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October 4, 2013
Toronto Underground Market: Food & Beverage Incubator

Last weekend I checked out the Toronto Underground Market’s (TUM) second anniversary party at the Evergreen Brick Works. TUM is essentially like a business incubator, but for food & beverage operators. The organization started out in 2010 and has become a forum for emerging chefs to test out menu ideas and business practices. TUM has […]

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May 16, 2013
What's Missing from City Plans? Everything That Matters, Says Economist

At the upcoming Canadian Institute of Planners conference in Vancouver I will be hosting a workshop with two colleagues, David Bell and Justin Barer, on the value that an understanding of land economics, market dynamics, and financial analysis can bring to the planning process. US economist Carl Schramm just published a great piece in Forbes […]

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May 13, 2013
The Father of the Shopping Mall, Victor Gruen, was an Urbanist

The Gruen Effect, a documentary on the life of Victor Gruen, the so-called father of shopping malls, provides interesting insights into the birth of a development concept that reshaped America. In Vienna, Victor Gruen was involved in socialist politics before fleeing to New York to escape Nazi Germany. In perhaps the ultimate of ironies, he […]

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April 28, 2013
Extended Sidewalk Patios: Great for Beer, Good for Business?

As I was walking around Port Credit Village this weekend, I was excited to see that the pilot project for sidewalk patios from 2012 is being repeated. As part of this project, a temporary patio is built on the existing sidewalk, and a new wooden boardwalk replaces on-street parking spots to accommodate passing pedestrians. From a self-serving […]

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March 22, 2013
Cool Urban Canadian Tire Becomes Lame & Suburban

I stumbled across what I was convinced must be the coolest Canadian Tire in all of Canada on Google Maps. Located at the end of one of the main streets in downtown Paris, Ontario, is a three storey heritage building which was occupied by a Canadian Tire until about one month ago. Sadly, the Canadian Tire […]

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March 1, 2013
The Value of Forging Partnerships for Urban Development

Strategies for Increasing Collaboration Among Retail  Professionals and City Planners Published in ICSC Retail Property Insights: Special Urban Retail Issue Value of Forging Partnerships

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About Reurbanist
Reurbanist™ believes retail offers cities the best opportunity to recreate their urban fabric.

Developers, investors and governments around the world are recognizing how retail offers enormous opportunities. Retail is the glue which holds communities, neighbourhoods and mixed use developments together.
Recent Articles
Rethinking retail’s role in animating streets and public spaces

For decades, planners, urban designers, and policy makers have advocated for street-facing ground floor retail space as a means of animating streets and public spaces. Retail was in many ways the optimal use for achieving this activation due to its foot traffic generation and visual diversity created by storefront designs, lighting, and window transparency. Many […]

The Benefits of PokémonGo: Footfall, Draw & Leverage

Since the release of PokémonGo, there has been an influx of coverage in what many local business and retail centres are doing to capitalize on this increasingly popular game developed by Niantic and The Pokémon Company. The premise behind this game is to mimic the story and concept of the Pokémon franchise which is aptly […]

The Viability of Vertical Retail in Urban Environments

In the context of vertical shopping environments, a rule of thumb that is sometimes applied is that sales performance drops off by 50% for every floor above ground level. By the time you get to the third storey, you can expect only a fraction of the sales turnover. As a result the space is often not viable. When working […]

Food Lover's Market, Cape Town

To meet the evolving needs of workers and visitors in the core of Cape Town, a new food concept has been pioneered under the “Food Lover’s Market” label. The modern eatery concept brings together the best of an urban grocery store and food court within one beautifully designed facility. Importantly, centralized point-of-sale tills allow visitors […]

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