Vacant to vibrant: The revitalization of Nanaimo North Town Centre
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Shopping malls have been a pillar of suburban sprawl and consumerism for the last seven decades, however, in last 30 years their future has been uncertain. The original enclosed shopping mall as designed by the famous Victor Gruen is dying out due to various social and economic factors. Because most of these 1950 style building archetypes reside on large pieces of land, it is crucial that redevelopment is done diligently and effectively to foster community need and aspiration. New trends for redevelopment are beginning to unfold in British Columbia, setting a prime example of solutions for the rest of North America in shopping mall revitalization. Nanaimo BC has been known to have a reputation of being “the city of malls”, and with the 21st century decline of department stores and shopping malls, it is becoming more prominent in the city. Nanaimo North Town Centre, a mall located in the north end of the city, has had a reputation of dullness and disconnection since it opened in the early 1980’s. This research aims to discover the best revitalization strategy for Nanaimo North Town Centre. Using existing literature, applicable zoning and policies, as well as the expertise of professionals in the planning, commercial, developing, and land appraising fields, a recommended redevelopment plan is established in the form of a mixed-use community node.