by Kimberley D. Mok, Montreal, Canada
Is the era of the enclosed shopping mall over? With changing consumer habits (such as increased online shopping) and the advent of “big-box” specialty stores and discounters like Home Depot, Target and Wal-mart, the deepening recession is merely delivering the coup de grâce for hundreds of shopping malls across the U.S.
For some, the end is coming none too soon. As icons of excessive consumption and shortsighted urban planning, malls represent everything that has gone wrong with our car-based consumer culture. For others (especially in smaller towns), malls represent one of the last few sanctioned public spaces in our society where communities can gather. So what happens (or could happen) when a shopping mall dies? ... more story here