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Eco-Mall of the Future! Well, sort of... okay not really.
Alex Steffen, 6 Jul 05

It's hard to say that this project (or any hinterspawl mega-mall, for that matter) is exactly green, but Destiny USA sure is ballsy:

"Destiny U.S.A. ... aspires to be not only the biggest man-made structure on the planet but also the most environmentally friendly. [T]he ''retail city'' will include the usual shops and restaurants as well as an extensive research facility for testing advanced technologies and a 200-acre recreational biosphere complete with springlike temperatures and an artificial river for kayaking.

"More mind-boggling than the sheer scope of Destiny is its agenda. [R]enewable energy alone will power the mall, with its 1,000 shops and restaurants, 80,000 hotel rooms, 40,000-seat arena and Broadway-style theaters. As a result ... Destiny will jump-start renewable-energy markets nationwide with its investments in solar, wind, fuel cells and other alternative-energy sources. ... All by itself, the mall would boost America's solar-electric power capacity by nearly 10 percent."

Of course, what we really need are not vanity mega-projects, but skillful large-scale interventions in our existing urban areas -- interventions which would promote infill development, help build compact communities, deploy a new wave of sustainable infrastructure retrofits and spread the economic benefits widely and fairly. Still, Destiny is an interesting data point on the cultural shift towards a bright green future.

Even more interesting to me is the question -- if this is what's making it mainstream, what are the really crazy projects a decade from now going to look like?

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It may not be trumpeted as "green", but most people don't realize that the Mall of America (located in the coldest major metro area in the US) doesn't require any supplemental heating system beyond passive solar, body heat, and the heat from electrical equipment (lights etc) and other machines.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 6 Jul 05

Joel Makower has more at his blog

Posted by: Daniel Johnston on 6 Jul 05

[snark]How's the parking?[/snark]

Snark aside I admire the developer's willingness to try new things.

Posted by: LARefugee on 6 Jul 05

[snark]How's the parking?[/snark]

I posted on the same thing today. This in regards to the R&D park that will precede the Destiny project.

My .02 on a "green" mall that everyone drives too click here

Posted by: baloghblog on 6 Jul 05

"My .02 on a 'green' mall that everyone drives too click here"

I believe the point is that *for what they're doing*, it's better than standard practice.

If you took the same logic you're applying in this case, then you could pretty much shred "green" cars, "green" buildings, or pretty much anything labeled "green" (including organic produce shipped over distance).

People are going to go to malls for the foreseeable future. We might as well work with that paradigm the best we can instead of negating positive efforts within that paradigm.

And public transportation itself isn't exactly "green", either, and for that matter, walking isn't either, if the food and drink we're consuming depends on the normal food infrastructure.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 6 Jul 05

My point was only that they should consider public transportation expansion that would allow workers and others who live in the surrounding areas to be able to go the R&D park and eventually the mall.

I would seem foolish to build an "environmental" mall that is only accessible by a shoddy bus system and by automobile.

I am no expert in the field, but would imagine that public transportation such as light rail and regular bussing would cost us much less avg fuel/person, than a car driven by one person.

I, unlike others in the Syracuse area, think that this idea and the R&D park hold the key to our city's future. Congel's dream that Syracuse be a national leader in green building and renewable energy technology is something that I am completely behind. The mall itself, and the retail aspect I am less interested in, and less convinced will draw tourists to the area.

Posted by: baloghblog on 6 Jul 05

"My point was only that they should consider public transportation expansion that would allow workers and others who live in the surrounding areas to be able to go the R&D park and eventually the mall."

But that's not up to the delevoper, it's up to government to decide, right? So I don't see why there's reason to give the developer a hard time.

Not knowing the specific details of your area, perhaps I am missing some relevant facts.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 6 Jul 05

The government is giving the company millions, if not billions of dollars in Green Bonds and a PILOT agreement that allows them not to pay taxes for 30 years after development. The local, county, state and fed government all are in discussion with the developer.

Anyways, that's is my .02, we can all have our opinions.

Posted by: baloghblog on 7 Jul 05



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