LEFT FOR DEAD | REURBANIZING AND ADAPTING FAILING AMERICAN MALLS
Stout, Taylor Lane
Bell, Matthew J
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This thesis will explore new alchemies of architecture, urban planning and real estate development to remedy failing American malls and their urban contexts. The focus of this thesis is to build a toolbox of urban, architecture, and landscape strategies to diagnose and heal malls in economically distressed areas. As people move back into cities, malls are becoming vestiges of suburban sprawl and an ethos that has failed us. Once numbering roughly 1,500 nationwide, the number of regional malls is projected to dwindle to little over 300 in the coming decades. With the national decline of the specialized mall format, there is an opportunity to hypothesize about the future of these failing malls. I will investigate specialty and commodity retail to understand the history of the retail industry and its effect on our urban evolution. By studying the rise of shopping malls and the isolation of retail in America I will make a case for more appropriate place-making that encourages more balanced, sustainable and resilient urbanism. These strategies will be applied to Marley Station Mall, located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.