Ever since post-WWII sprawl, most commercial development in suburbs has involved narrow strips down single corridors. This trend is slowly coming to an end with several contributing factors, from changing demographics to the urbanization of those same suburbs.
Simultaneously, these factors are helping advocates of town centers, mixed-use development, and main streets. Edwards T. McMahon argues:
"At the same time that Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, and others are planning new urban stores all over America, as many as 400 former big-box stores sit vacant on commercial strips. Most analysts agree that urban neighborhoods are the new frontier for retail-the one place left with more spending power than stores to spend it in. At the same time that retail is rediscovering the city, the suburbs are being redesigned. Chris Leinberger recently declared that 'the largest redevelopment trend of the next generation will be the conversion of dead or dying strip commercial centers in the suburbs into walkable urban places.'"