Don't look now but the shopping mall, those air conditioned nowheres that have supplanted downtowns all over America for the past half century, may well be dead. The Wall Street Journal has a story this morning about the large numbers of them likely to succumb to the recession, and the piece contains this remarkable paragraph:
Developers, in fact, have been moving away from the enclosed-mall format in favor of big-box centers anchored by free-standing giants such as Wal-Mart or open-air shopping centers with tiny parks and outdoor cafes sprinkled among fashion stores. Only one enclosed mall has opened in the U.S. since 2006: The Mall at Turtle Creek in Jonesboro, Ark.
It's a big change, although the alternative--a big box in a sea of asphalt--isn't anything to write home about. You can read more here, although you may need to be a subscriber.