Environment: A Pall Over the Suburban Mall

Burlington, Vt., defeats a competing shopping center

They had glamorous names like the Miracle Mile, Fashion Island and Greenacres. Away from decaying downtowns, offering ample parking space, often lined with shaded walkways, they were gleaming oases of retail chic among the growing, monotonous tracts of ranches and split-levels that spread out from the nation's cities after World War II. Now, more than a generation after the first sprawling shopping centers began sprouting up in suburbia, these great concrete meccas of merchandising are coming under increasing attack.

Many of the malls were convenient, innovative and...

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