While significant urban redevelopment is happening in downtowns, it’s the suburbs that are poised for the biggest transformation. Regional malls and office parks, in particular, have the potential to be retrofitted into more compact, connected and sustainable places
Large shopping centers and office parks suffer from being auto-dependent, stand-alone buildings disconnected from the landscapes in which they reside. While the Burlington Mall area has been a retail destination for generations – and it continues to be a major concentration of economic development – the acres of surface parking surrounded by a robust highway infrastructure isolates the site from the broader geography and galvanizes disconnected development patterns. Extensive impervious surfaces with little tree canopy and an absence of compelling public spaces for social networking amplify the challenges.
Vine Brook once extended through the site. Daylighting a portion of the watercourse to reduce impervious surfaces and increase open space forms a naturalized corridor. A sequence of public spaces linking existing amenities between sites creates a complementary east-west pedestrian-oriented framework.