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Shopping Malls to Parks

The sun appears to be setting on many indoor shopping malls. Slate’s Chadwick Martin explains some of the reasons and argues that the structures should be torn down. Via Kaid Benfield, an article in Newsweek indicated that nearly a fifth of the country’s largest 2,000 regional malls are failing. One in particular is Charlotte’s Eastland shopping center – where the city is trying to parcel together and purchase the 70-acre site for redevelopment. An Urban Land Institute report for a “Town Center” on the site calls for housing and walkable retail, with over 10 acres of new parks. This seems to be reusing the site in a useful and possibly more lasting way.

If cities are interested in converting abandoned mall sites, parks are a key feature they could include to make them enjoyable areas of new walkable housing and retail. Likewise, shopping mall sites are a place park agencies and advocates can look to for new parkland where no “new” city land exists.

One Response

  1. Sounds like a great idea. They could be heavily treed as natural space. This is one of the greatest impacts on carbon footprints – the addition of trees that directly remove the carbon from the air.

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