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The Fall of Malltopia

Mark Dery looks back at the birth and death of the mall, from Victor Gruen to the present collapse, then beyond to proposals for reusing and revitalizing mall spaces.
November 28, 2009, 1pm PST | Tim Halbur
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Dery writes, "Brimming with evangelical zeal, New Urbanists are exhorting communities with dead malls to reverse the historical logic of Gruenization, turning malls inside-out so storefronts face the wider world and transforming them into mixed-use agglomerations of residences and retail; repurposing parking lots into civic plazas; infilling the dead zones that surround most malls with transit-accessible neighborhoods checkerboarded with public spaces (a rare commodity in sprawl developments),and weaving the streets of said neighborhoods into those of the surrounding suburbs."

Dery goes on to look at the more fantastical ideas of the finalists in the 2003 Dead Malls competition sponsored by the Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design.

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Published on Wednesday, November 25, 2009 in Design Observer
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