The Strip Mall

I was looking for a better subject for my landscape typology. I was doing the usual brainstorm for ideas thinking of everything that is similar but different and would make a good subject for my typology.

I thought about architecture and was scouting around looking for similar building types like tall office blocks flats similar housing types and nothing was sticking.

I thought about our local McDonalds drive through that has just been built, and that got me thinking. There has been a massive increase in the number of these establishments. Lately, they seem to keep building new ones on top of each other, the Mcdonalds at the end of North Lane has just been built right next door to the brand new KFC.

It occurred to me that the landscape is starting to look like a strip mall from America, then it hit me, this was an invasion of American culture, and our English landscape was slowly becoming an outpost of Americana. It was like a cancer slowly spreading across our green and pleasant land.
This is a fast food revolution all the big players are now creating drive thru resturants and they are everywhere from KFC and Burger King  to Costa and Starbucks we are seeing more and more of the American influence in our landscape. There are even Greggs drive thru’s and to top it all Boots prescription drive thru. I wonder when we will start to see the drive thru banks like they have in the USA
I found these images using Google they show the extent of the creep towards an Americanised landscape. It seems that there have been voices warning us about this for some years. Peter Jones wrote an article in Geography, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October 1985), pp. 347-350 where he writes “A new generation of ‘fast food’ restaurants, whose numbers have been growing rapidly in London since the late 1970s, have begun to appear in towns and cities throughout Britain”

The following table from the article shows the state of play in 1985

The following link is to a guardian article showing the state of play in October 2017 it states that there are 56,638 fast food shops in England

The heat map supplied by the Guardian for 2017 shows the following statistics about Rushmoor where I live:

In Rushmoor, there are 1.14 takeaways per 1,000 residents.
That’s slightly more than in the average local authority. There’s a total of 107 takeaways in the area.
The number of takeaways in the area has increased by 10% within the last three years.

With all this competition the players have to work harder to beat their rivals none of this is good for our countryside as we are washed away in a sea of takeaway strip malls. The latest twist is that all of these drive thru’s now having to sell their food via online services like JustEat and Deliveroo as the wave of popular demand is looking not even to leave their own homes to get their take away.