Why do we need shopping centers
Do we need shopping malls?
The CDU Stuttgart is currently asking whether shopping centers need parking spaces.
Dear Stuttgart CDU,
This question is justified. But this question is just as far as a child can spit a cherry stone. Because the question should actually be: Do we need shopping centers? Then the question of parking spaces and the resulting traffic looking for a parking space does not arise.
What a question, one might say. Of course, shopping centers need parking spaces, enough so that customers who come by car can park it not too far from the place of purchase. It is of no use if the parking facility is miles away, so that a brisk walk has to be undertaken to reach the shopping center or, if available, you have to switch to public transport. There is nothing wrong with the two modes of transport. On the contrary, they are environmentally friendly and their use is exemplary in every respect. But experience shows that many customers do their shopping, especially large and heavy ones, with their own car.
First of all, it is commendable that you noticed that you can also go shopping on foot. On the other hand, you don't necessarily have to take a brisk walk if you can get food and daily needs within walking distance and close to home. At the Neckartor, this is still possible at the moment. We hope that the Milaneo, which incidentally was decided under your Mayor Schuster, will not take away this possibility of local supply and that the shops on Neckarstrasse will continue to exist for several years.
Sure, there are other things that you have to transport from time to time. Statistics show, however, that the purchases made by car could generally also have been done by bike. Because in very few cases heavy water tanks are transported. The car is just outside the door and it's comfortable. What if you only have to go to the supermarket for a short time to get some cream? Oh, it doesn't matter with the car and there are soooo many parking spaces available (in the case of the Milaneo, maybe not enough from your point of view). And wasn't it your mayor Schuster who gave the Milaneo additional parking spaces and thus made the Milaneo even more attractive for these quick, spontaneous purchases?
This was also known when the recently opened Milaneo was being built. This large shopping center with 200 shops and bars in central Stuttgart is a magnet for people not only from Stuttgart, but also from the surrounding area. That is good and gratifying, as some critical voices have been heard in advance, saying that the city is overflowing with shopping opportunities. Both the Milaneo and the new Gerber are good for the city. Jobs are created here, purchasing power is tied up here and there are also positive effects, such as the increased supply of inner-city living space.
The Milaneo is good, good for the region from which purchasing power is being withdrawn to Stuttgart. The Esslinger OB Zieger (SPD) even speaks of a cannibalization of the retail locations. The Milaneo is also good for Stuttgart, because the additional traffic causes tons of fine dust, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides in the air in the Stuttgart basin. It is also good for Stuttgart and the region, because jobs in the retail sector are being destroyed here, because the small owner-managed specialist shops cannot compete with the dominance of the shopping centers. Either they can be assimilated and move into such a center themselves or they will have to close (eat or die!). Haufler am Markt and Foto Hirrlinger had to close, City-Baumarkt West closes, Spielwaren Kurtz has downsized, Karstadt Stuttgart closes, Hugendubel closes (Article 1 and Article 2). To speak of a connection just a few weeks after the opening of Milaneo and Gerber is of course extremely far-fetched. But the specialty shop dying didn't just begin with the opening of the Milaneo but is a creeping process that has been going on for years and can be traced back to the Internet, but also to the shopping centers that are springing up like mushrooms across Europe and above all for one purpose serve: to pour the money from real estate funds into supposed concrete gold. In the next 3 years, around one million square meters more retail space are expected in Baden-Württemberg, although the retail sector is stagnating overall.
But back to shopping in Milaneo. If it is now said that it was not foreseeable that more than the existing parking spaces would be needed, that is not correct. The client would have been willing to build significantly more parking spaces. But the number was pushed down to 1680 places for the entire complex. The eco-left majority even advocated an even lower number of parking spaces. The CDU parliamentary group had clearly indicated that parking spaces should not be reduced too much - fortunately. If the others had continued to prevail, the negative effect that has now occurred, that the surrounding residential population suffers due to the prevailing parking pressure, would have been even greater. "Unfortunately, due to the majority situation, there was no basis from the outset to enforce more parking spaces," explains parliamentary group leader Alexander Kotz. We are now receiving the receipt for the green-red-red position in the municipal council. But of course nobody wants it now. "
Even more parking spaces would mean even more traffic, even more traffic jams on the federal highways, even more fine dust, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, even more purchasing power withdrawn from the region and thus even more jobs lost and even more consumption of resources and land . Therefore, limiting parking spaces was the right decision. During the planning period, urban planning experts demanded that pressure be exerted on the planners via the lever of the parking spaces to present a qualitative planning draft. On the other hand, they considered the proposed draft to be of poor quality in terms of urban planning. The surroundings of the library become one Desert, one monotonous neighborhood.
As you yourself correctly write, many already come by public transport. But the even more correct (if the word even exists) decision would have been to build the Milaneo and Gerber shopping centers much smaller - or ideally - not at all. Esslingen's mayor Zieger considers the Milaneo to be dispensable. Mayor Michael Föll, on the other hand, has decided in favor of the two shopping centers Milaneo and Gerber still right. From 1998 to 2003 he was chairman of the CDU local council.
It is more likely that nobody wants to be responsible for the Milaneo itself now.
[Stuttgart opens (supplement BI Neckartor)] “the open battle in the retail trade…. I don't blame Fritz Kuhn for that either. I just find it irritating that at the political level in Stuttgart no one wants to have approved all of this anymore. What remains to be said is that the cannibalization of retail locations in the city of Stuttgart and the region is becoming more acute. And that's not exactly a basic pattern for a trusting cooperation. "
Esslingen Mayor Jürgen Zieger (SPD) Source StZ
Now the CDU Stuttgart again:
Foresight looks different! It goes without saying that the use of local public transport must be encouraged. And the example of Milaneo shows that fortunately many people like to use this mode of transport. But it is also clear that a shopping center must have enough parking spaces so that the surrounding residential buildings do not have to be parked. "We can count ourselves lucky that our city administration reacts so quickly and initially regulates traffic in the affected areas provisionally in such a way that the residents are protected as best as possible from traffic and noise."
The tactic of displacing the car from city traffic due to the planned lack of parking spaces does not work after all. "And we," says Alexander Kotz, "do not want - unlike the green-red-red policy - to tell people how to do their shopping."
Right, foresight looks different. Far-sightedness would be to promote small, owner-managed shops and medium-sized businesses in the retail sector, so that local supplies can be maintained for the population.
The StN for the number of parking spaces in the Milaneo and possible alternative parking garages.
The Greens have applied for a better parking guidance system to protect residents in the north.
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