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A California-based design firm may have just figured out how to save malls, based on a Chinese retail development currently under construction. The development revolves around a key feature that has yet to make its way to American malls: urban farming, which will occupy its top levels. It's all part of an effort to make the new mall, as well as the surrounding neighborhood, sustainable as possible.
"In the US, malls are separated, and people are struggling to find other ways to bring people to them," Arthur Benedetti, an executive at the California design firm, told Fast Company. "It's interesting the way that the world has not only caught up to the US, but definitely surpassed us in the way that we define these retail spaces." In Benedetti's mall design, the "vast parking fields" that have trapped US malls has been replaced by sleek public transportation systems, and the urban farms include educational programs and the smaller "parklets" on the terraces include space for restaurants.
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