Daydreams for redeveloping closed shopping malls: The Future of Shopping Malls: An Image Essay. This made me think of visiting that huge posh empty mall in downtown Vancouver.
I think the fallacy here is that the mall construction is fundamentally shitty. First, malls are built with a short lifespan in mind--I'd guess 20 years or so. Second, they're built without considering environmental factors; for example, they have flat roofs and the plan for dealing with snow is to heat the building enough to melt it off; they don't take advantage of solar energy for heat and light, or of trees for shade. If the power is out, you can't heat, cool, or light a mall. Runoff has nowhere to go. Third, many of them aren't accessible without a car: they're surrounded by acres of baking asphalt and have their own exit off the freeway. Unfortunately, malls are a sunk cost, the results of a series of horrible decisions that we need to move past rather than investing ourselves in revitalizing. Rip it up, recycle the parts, and put something green and growing there.
link via boingboing.