One response to “Converting malls to New Urbanist public squares?

  1. I think its very doable, and indeed highly desirable, to build in and around malls. They occupy positions and locations that are strategic, and often centered in vast seas of parking spaces (the next era of greenfields?) that can be developed to make linkages with their surroundings. I believe the most interesting places and architecture are layered over, so it’s preferable to keep them when possible. There’s only one major difficulty in the long-run that I forsee: So many of these malls were shoddily constructed and are nearing the end of their planned lifecycles. How many times have you walked into some mall of yesteryear and seen the mop buckets catching the leaking ceilings, or the cracks running up and down those great plastered walls? I just don’t think they’re very sturdy. Maybe in those cases their footprints can be grandfathered in to make interesting, irregular negative space that organizes surrounding density infill.
    (much less seriously)
    We can tell our grandchildren how economies of scale worked in the time before ‘feudalism II: after peak oil’ or something like that…

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