The Great Real Estate Recalculation

We will need to rethink where bookstores should go: not always in the higher-rent suburban locations, where Borders outlets were placed, but rather in out of the way fringes.  Book lovers will have to drive for longer periods of time to do their browsing, or use Amazon.

Buildings should become taller, more densely packed in, and there is a chance of vertical farming

Best Buy stores are too large.  The NoVa landscape is already starting to be littered with empty big boxes.  What will be put in them?  How many current "stores" should evolve into "petting zoos" designed to complement the company's web sales operations?

Some parts of the suburbs should become quite empty, while some roads should become much wider and better maintained, accompanied by congestion pricing of course.

I've already stopped using Tysons Corner Shopping Mall, mostly because the combined activities of parking and walking take too long and involve too many hassles.  The mall no longer offers convenient access to its nodes.

The dinky homes in Pimmit Hills, Falls Church will be replaced with much larger and newer boxes.

In so many sectors of the economy, Manhattan has become obsolete as a shopping center, replaced by the web.

Self-driving cars have the potential to fit many more cars on the road.  Traffic will become less costly, as cars evolve into portable offices.

It is not hard to imagine how The Great Real Estate Recalculation should proceed.  But it will take decades to occur, and there is a chance that we get only the "hollowing out" side of the story.  In the meantime, land economics will rise in importance as a field of economics, whether or not the profession realizes it.


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