Headlines from the Changing Suburbs


Roswell Activists: Metro Atlanta’s Most Impassioned Preservationists, or the NIMBYs from Hell?

Curbed Atlanta, December 19, 2018
In the historic core of a growing suburban city, that is the question

In Tehran, Design Principles of American Suburbia Unexpectedly Persist

ArchDaily, November 5, 2018
Victor Gruen’s plan for the city laid the framework for a car-driven metropolis.

Dallas Finally Sues Valley View Mall’s Owners Over the Mess that It Is

Dallas Morning News, September 14, 2018
Plans for an “urban village” on the site of the old mall have never come to pass.

America’s Malls Are Dying. Owners Are Hoping Virtual Reality and Fitness Centers will Save Them

LA Times, September 1, 2018
Non-retail concepts are drawing visitors who haven’t been to a mall in months.

Walkable Suburbia

Planetizen, September 6, 2018
It’s not impossible to reshape the suburbs to be more walkable, but it does require careful planning and design.

A Perfect Tax Storm in the South Suburbs

Chicago Tribune, August 31, 2018
Property tax breaks backfire on some property owners, while others pay nothing at all.

A Huge Belt Metro for Melbourne Is Placed on the Table

Next City, August 30, 2018
The governing Labor Party has pledged to build an all-underground suburban belt line that would connect with all of the main lines that emanate from the city center, if it is re-elected.

More Apartments Proposed for Hyattsville Office Conversion

Route 1 Reporter, August 29, 2018
The developer behind a novel office-to-apartment conversion near Prince George’s Plaza Metro want to add 28 units to the plans.

Developers Are Trying to Make the Suburbs Cool. Is that Possible?

Boston Globe, August 3, 2018
Builders are endeavoring to retrofit sterile office parks with elements of urban life. Owners are adding shops, restaurants, and stylish coffee bars intended to bring their properties out of the floppy-disk era. Many are trying to create housing within walking distance. And to accommodate techies who insist on living in the city, employers are footing the bill to transport them to work, chartering shuttles from transit hubs and even paying for Uber rides.

Love it or Loathe it: Tysons Mall Turns 50 this Week, and it’s Booming

WAMU, July 27, 2018
The mall’s future growth will probably be vertical, will include more residential space, and will provide storefronts for many internet brands.

Welcome to Suburbia: The Millenials Done with City Life, and City Prices

The Guardian, July 26, 2018

Suburban life may be once again in ascendance, as millennials, pushed away from exorbitant city prices and finally able to afford their first houses, are rediscovering suburbs’ spacious charms.

Detroit’s Suburban Offices Struggle to Compete with Rebounding Downtown Prices 

Detroit Free Press – July 20, 2018

Bike shares, food trucks, and other urban-style amenities added to keep up with city’s strengthening commercial market.

Millenials Are Moving to the Exurbs in Droves 

Axios – June 10, 2018

While cities still attract younger people, many are relocating to the suburbs.

Are Americans Fleeing Cities for Suburbs? Not So Fast. 

CityLab – June 11, 2018

Basic comparisons of population growth don’t tell the whole story.

A Defense of the Suburbs

Atlantic – June 5, 2018

An architect immerses himself in residential production housing to learn why people like it—and what it can teach Americans about the future of urban design.

As Office Parks Empty, Towns Turn Vacancies into Opportunities

New York Times – May 29, 2018

Once the suburban ideal, sprawling office parks are quickly becoming relics that stress local tax bases. But they also offer redevelopment possibilities

A Retrofit for America’s Dying Malls

Wall Street Journal – December 15, 2017

More than 650 communities breath new life into old malls.

Older millenials starting families look to the suburbs for work

Chicago Tribune – October 12, 2017

For millennials, the suburbs are the new city, and employers chasing young talent are starting to look at them anew.

Op-Ed: Is Newhall Ranch a new model of sustainable sprawl?

Los Angeles Times – September 28, 2017

Even though the development will be better than most others, that still doesn’t make it good.

The suburb of the future, almost here

New York Times – September 15, 2017

Millennials want a different kind of suburban development that is smart, efficient and sustainable.

Nordstrom’s wild new concept: A clothing store with no clothes

Washington Post – September 12, 2017

Personal shoppers, samples, wine, beer, and espressoeverything but merchandise.

Maybe cities are the future of suburbs

Bloomberg View – September 11, 2017

The great urban revival may not be ending, just relocating.

Millennials are driving the suburban resurgence

Bloomberg – August 25, 2017

Economic forces and job opportunities impact the viability of urban living for many millennials.

How to build a better burb to ease the housing crunch

The Tyee – August 21, 2017

Transforming suburbs creates options for families priced out of the city and creates better communities.

Food halls, food trucks, and WiFi: How suburban offices are striving for an urban feel

BisNow Atlanta – August 9, 2017

“The suburban campus is far from dead in Atlanta. Some campuses are experiencing a revival, thanks to savvy owners adding urban attractions — restaurants and cafés — as well as services such as cleaning and catering.”

An ode to shopping malls

New York Times – July 26, 2017

Farewell, pleasure palaces of days past. A filmmaker’s series chronicles a way of life as it reaches its end.

Detroit suburb launches 7-station bike share program

Michigan Live – July 24, 2017

Just two months after the launch of Detroit’s bike share program, popularity is spreading to the suburbs.

As companies relocate to big cities, suburban towns are left scrambling

Washington Post – July 16, 2017

Corporate relocations to cities threatens the prosperity of many suburbs.

Retrofitting Suburbia

University of Melbourne – July 14, 2017

As cities continue their relentless sprawl, how do we retrofit existing suburbs to move toward a sustainable future?

More citified ‘Main Streets’ coming to a suburb near you – July 14, 2017

Mixed-use Main Street developments are gaining popularity in suburban settings.

The death of big-box stores is speeding up suburbia’s slide into poverty

Business Insider – July 9, 2017

Suburban office parks are becoming a thing of the past as millennials flock to nearby metropolitan areas for work.

As jobs sprawl outside Indianapolis, transit tries to keep pace

StreetsBlog USA – June 30, 2017

Suburban employers and local governments in Indianapolis have been working together to connect people to hard-to-reach jobs via transit.

Walking, talking, shopping priorities in new suburban communities

Atlanta Journal Constitution – June 24, 2017

Some of Atlanta’s newest suburban neighborhoods are poised to become walkable New Urbanist settings.

Southern California’s dead malls could be places to live

The Orange County Register – June 24, 2017
Successful mall retrofits can transform malls into affordable, successful liveable places for Millennials to live.

Curious about Redlands Mall project? Here’s how to find out more about the overhaul

Redlands Daily Facts – June 24, 2017
Redlands Mall owner teams up with the Redlands Chamber of Commerce to engage people in the mall redevelopment process and directly address community needs.

How Asian Americans remade suburbia (book review)

CityLab – June 14, 2017
Asian immigrants, once the “ultimate outsiders,” have profoundly reshaped the suburbs of San Francisco.

What’s in store for retail? Closings, job losses aren’t the whole story

Craine’s Detroit – June 14, 2017
Dramatic changes in the number of retail jobs could benefit city centers at the expense of big box retail centers.

The mall of the future will have no stores

Wall Street Journal – June 12, 2017
Shopping-center landlords are rethinking the traditional mall model—and shops aren’t necessarily part of the equation.

In sprawling areas, can the bus become anything other than a lifeline for the poor?

StreetsblogUSA – June 12, 2017
Transit shouldn’t just be for marginalized groups. Though it may be a long time before it’s seen as an essential public service for everyone in Burlington, NC, some are making exactly that argument.

Brick and mortar stores are dying, but not at this mall

Marketplace – June 8, 2017
How the Los Angeles mall Glendale Galleria brings in “more visitors than Disneyland,” in an era when E-commerce dominates in-person retail shopping.

Confronting the myths of suburban poverty

CityLab – July 6 2017
The newer suburbs, not the old ones, are struggling with the largest numbers of low-income residents.

Here’s what could happen to America’s hundreds of dead malls

Business Insider – June 5, 2017
Traditional malls need to transform themselves to stay alive, and many… are making changes to attract more business.

City growth dips below suburban growth, Census shows

Brookings Institution blog – May 30, 2017
Newly released Census data cast doubt on the idea that this will be “the decade of the city.”

The real housing boom: The suburbs are where we want to be

The Globe and Mail – May 29, 2017
The ‘burbs continue to draw tens of thousands of new residents every year compared to the few thousand or so who move downtown.

Cities growing more slowly than suburbs for the first time in six years

The Washington Post – May 25, 2017
The shift reflects a relatively steeper decline in the growth rate in cities, rather than an increase in suburban growth.

Been a long time since you’ve seen Eastland Mall? Check out its past – and future – Thursday

The Charlotte Observer – May 17, 2017
A public event at the vacant Eastland Mall site encourages public input and participation in a potential redevelopment.

Here’s what could happen to America’s hundreds of dead malls

Business Insider – May 13, 2017
Traditional malls need to transform themselves to stay alive, and many are making changes to attract more business by incorporating features like community gathering spaces, civic centers, event spaces, libraries, or micro-apartments.

Retail revolution: should cities ban chain stores?

The Guardian – April 20, 2017
Banning retail chains can have many benefits to neighborhood culture and the local economies– if it is done properly.

Fixing a Fractured Paris

Citylab  April 12, 2017
In an effort to connect the historic city to its politically fragmented suburbs, Greater Paris is pushing an epic program of highway removal and transit revamps.

Transforming a commercial strip corridor

Public Square – April 10, 2017
A CNU Legacy Project in the diverse Seattle suburb of Tukwila retrofits the streetscape, changes zoning codes, transit-oriented development, and embracing incremental growth in order to make Tukwila more pedestrian friendly and human-scaled.

How not to create traffic jams, pollution and urban sprawl

The Economist – April 8, 2017
Not even the new Apple headquarters can avoid the minimum parking requirements– a detrimental and all too common practice that inhibits efforts to make public transit more accessible and cities more bikeable.

The Rise and Fall of the US Mall

World Finance April 7, 2017
The “Father of the Shopping Mall” Victor Gruen discusses his original intent behind the development of the shopping mall, how unsustainable suburban sprawl got it all wrong, and what malls can do to reverse their decline and avoid total closures.

What to do with a dead mall? Charlotte City Council set to vote on $575,000 Eastland plan

The Charlotte Observer  – March 27, 2017
Charlotte City Council is planning to vote on a new plan that will finally point the way to a solution to the problem of what to do with the long-vacant former Eastland Mall site.

Suburban sprawl stole your kids’ sleep

Citylab – March 23, 2017
Why does school start so early? Blame 1970s planning.

The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America

Business Insider – March 21, 2017
Thousands of mall-based stores are shutting down in what’s fast becoming one of the biggest waves of retail closures in decades.

Cities restore lost streets, local charm after razing failed malls

Wall Street Journal – March 20, 2017
A hotel and an apartment complex are rising on a street here that was buried by a shopping mall for four decades.

Here’s why American suburbs are dying

House Beautiful – March 8, 2017
With thousands of dollars in student debt, and few job opportunities in the suburbs, remaining in cities just makes sense for this generation.

Dying shopping malls are wreaking havoc on suburban America

Business Insider March 5, 2017
Along with potential upticks in crime, dying malls can lead to building vacancies in the areas immediately surrounding them.

Is King of Prussia the new Promised Land?

Philadelphia Mag– March 4, 2017
One mall’s placemaking quest to turn malls ‘inside out’ and transform them into a cool, mixed-use downtown center despite pushback from residents in an attempt to attract millennials and new businesses.

Shopping inside is out

Governing – February 2017
Despite cold seasonal temperatures and the rising E-commerce industry, consumers flock to outdoor civic “lifestyle centers” of the past over traditional suburban malls.

Millennials want suburbs that feel like a city

Realtor Mag – July 20, 2016
As companies move out of cities into the suburbs to lower operating costs, millennial employees want places with vibrancy and a variety of walkable and bikeable amenities.

This new car-free neighborhood redesigns suburbia

Fast Company – April 27, 2016

A new development in Mannheim, Germany is the ultimate walkable community.

The audacious plan to turn a sprawling DC suburb into a big city

Washingtonian – March 29, 2015
Tyson’s Corner is home to the most ambitious re-urbanization project on Earth.