If we built more livable cities, perhaps we would not ruin so much land in trying to escape from them.
Popular Mechanics interviews architects Ellen Dunham-Jones and June Williamson, authors of Retrofitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs. Dunham-Jones says,
The term "ghost boxes" [vacant big-box stores] makes sense to everybody, though. They're just on everybody's radar, and there are a lot of them out there. Everyone understands the scale of the big box and wonders: Couldn't it be reused in some useful way?
The article is illustrated with the conversion of a former shopping mall, Villa Italia in Lakewood, Colorado, into that amorphous Denver suburb's new downtown district. Other cities are mentioned too, including Santa Fe.
I vaguely remember Villa Italia from my early teens. I should go see Belmar sometime.
Landscape architect Craig Vickers remarks poignantly, “Belmar is full of ideas intended to almost train suburban people in urban thinking...how to understand it and how to look for what to enjoy here.
Of course, there is no "mar" anywhere near this Belmar. Can we never escape real estate-ese?