A Perpetual Planning Failure

How a mall near Charlotte, North Carolina symbolizes a continual problem of urban development.
December 26, 2003, 3pm PST | California 2000
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"Charlotte is a fascinating urban laboratory, illustrating America's quintessential paradox of loving nature and distrusting urbanity while destroying nature to live in cities. We're doing many things right...But for every good move there is an opposing negative force: as SouthEnd grows into its new mixed-use, walkable future around transit, so the proposed new NorthPark Mall repeats all the suburban mistakes of" another "retail mess" in the city. The new mall "provides a microcosm of the American planning and development system that is constitutionally weighted for failure…It's the wrong thing in the wrong place at the wrong time...Because we are trained to believe individual property rights are more important than community values, developers can build almost wherever they want -- whether or not it makes environmental or economic sense."

Thanks to David Gest

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Published on Wednesday, December 17, 2003 in Creative Loafing Atlanta
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