Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Malls Are Dying - Rebirth Is Green

Our cities have been built with the concept that everybody drives a car. Little thought is given to those who would prefer or need to walk or bike. Housing developments known as "town centers" are now springing up everywhere. People want to live and shop in the same neighborhood -- sound familiar? This is the way I grew up.

Small towns have turned into large towns and cities and throughout the 20th century, streets have become clogged with cars and malls and shopping centers have been accessed by driving or taking a bus.

"There's nothing new under the sun." Just like mini-skirts and bell-bottomed pants, we come back around again to remodel the past.

Nineteen percent of our country's 2,000 largest regional malls are failing, according to OnEarth magazine. Mall obituaries can be found at The land mass these malls commanded can now be transformed into environmentally sustainable communities that are now needed, not only due to gas prices, but for the community connection that people need, which has been lost since housing went to the burbs.

In suburban Lakewood, Colorado, the Villa Italia mall is being transformed into Belmar: a lively, tight-knit neighborhood that will have 1,300 apartments, town houses, single-family homes; nine acres of parks mixed with shops and a busy train station.

Read The De-Malling of America.

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