File this under “I don’t get it.” Wherever I go, bank branches are sprouting up. In my travels, I see these buildings in urban areas (usually retrofits of existing spaces) and in suburban areas alike (most often new construction). A number of these I’ve noticed touting their green credentials (especially TD Bank and PNC Bank branches). Whether or not the building and land is actually “green,” I am not sure. Some seem to have lots of lawn to water.
Here’s my confusion. Surveys show that consumers do over 50% of their banking online. And banks are rolling out more and more mobile platforms to cover almost every type of financial transaction. And when I go into a bank branch (rarely), there’s never a customer there. Okay, a couple. But enough to justify the land use impacts, GHG emissions associated with the building materials and employee and customer commutes, water usage, waste streams, possible chemicals issues ….? Really? In 2013??