Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dead Mall Problem

I was fascinated by a story on CNN today about abandoned malls. Living near Cleveland taught us what a recession is all about. Desparate for a change of scenery, Zach and I once 30 minutes to Bedford Heights Mall. We got there to see a parking lot full of snow no one had even bothered to plow. (Cleveland roads are usually plowed and salted 15 minutes after the snow starts to fall, making any car over five years old look like swiss cheese.) It was creepy and unsettling. Over time we found several more of these half empty malls. Ultimately it was depressing. I like the idea about transforming these malls into new community centers, but the abandoned malls we saw were in creepy neighborhoods. They were unsafe, I doubt I would ever want to take my kids to a library there. Can communities really transform these abandoned malls into a positive opportunity?

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