This is La Spezia, Italy. There are two of these shops in this picture, plus two more traditional newsstands in the distance. There appear to be about a dozen of these on the main drag. Clothes are offered in almost all; saw luggage in one. Questions:
- Why did “bricks and mortar” merchants ever agree to this in the first place?
- Why did they ever agree to giving up parking spaces to allow these?
- Who pays for the initial construction? City? Private?
- How are they regulated?
- Will they work financially?
- Will they create an commercial eco system where, once established, the shops move into actual buildings, leaving the space for another new business?
I have no answers to these at the moment. I do know that I love the idea of reclaiming space from cars, offering a low cost/low risk alternative for entrepreneurs into the commercial market, and the thought of adding more density to an already urban area.