A sense of belonging. A desire for civility. Both seem necessary for a welcoming and respectful society. But what happens when these ideas backfire?
Malls have long been considered suburban “third spaces,” areas outside of the home and workplace where people can socialize. As online commerce and shifting shopping habits change the retail market, however, many malls, including Gaithersburg’s Lakeforest, are suffering. After that malls’s recent sale, questions are being raised about whether or not the space will be redeveloped, what redevelopment could look like, how transportation priorities play into any major new projects, and if malls can continue to function as suburban third spaces in the region.
- Dan Reed Columnist for Washingtonian, urban planner and real estate agent; @justupthepike
- Neil Harris Vice President of the Gaithersburg City Council; Voting member of the Transportation Planning Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and its Long Range Planning Task Force; @NeilHarrisSays
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