It turns out the convenience of Amazon’s free same-day delivery has a major drawback.

The number of Amazon warehouses has exploded across the Philadelphia region during the pandemic, driven by our every-growing shift to online shopping.

All told, Amazon has 57 buildings across the region either up and running or under construction, including a massive new 5½-story fulfillment center in northern Delaware that will be the company’s largest to date. And as more are built, these massive facilities are moving away from highways and closer to our homes in order to satisfy our addiction to free and easy shipping.

A proposed Amazon warehouse in South Philadelphia would be surrounded by dense housing in Elmwood. UPS is building a new distribution center in Northeast Philadelphia, which as columnist Inga Saffron points out will be right in the middle of a residential neighbored and nearly 10 miles away from I-95.

Here’s how Saffron sums up the situation:

The implications of these changes in land use are immense. As their distribution networks expand, retailers such as Amazon and Walmart will be able to fulfill our orders mere hours after we click “pay.” But warehouses will drastically alter the look of our surroundings. These immense, windowless structures tend to be almost identical in their designs, no matter where they are built. We may get free shipping, but the price could be a constant stream of truck traffic wending through our neighborhoods.

Or as one commentator on Reddit put it, “The blight of suburban malls and office parks gives way to the blight of suburban 24/7 distribution centers. At least the aesthetic is consistent.”

» READ MORE: Our desire for quick delivery is bringing more warehouses to our neighborhoods | Inga Saffron

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