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Thread: Aging, blighted strip centers becoming new Hispanic 'town squares'?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Aging, blighted strip centers becoming new Hispanic 'town squares'?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...121801448.html
    (registration required)

    Apparently they are very much like town squares in Latin American countries and perhaps some enterprizing municipalities can capitalize on that.

    Bringing Nueva Vida to Aging Strip Malls

    By Nick Miroff
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, December 19, 2006; Page A01

    In many Latin American cities and towns, tiny villages and little pueblos, there is a central plaza, a square anchored by a church, government buildings, the statue of a hero. It is the design imprint of Spanish colonial rule, a place where prayer, politics and street commerce all converge.

    Manassas has no such place. But it does have the Flea Market Discount Plaza, a tumbledown strip mall three blocks from the city's quaint Old Town neighborhood with two taco trucks and an indoor bazaar selling everything from cowboy boots to velvet jaguar paintings. It also has Eva Muñoz, a round, ruddy-faced sidewalk vendor who hawks hot chocolate, steaming corn on the cob and other cold-weather delights from a cart outside the Antojitos Mary restaurant and pool hall.

    (See link for rest of article)

    Interesting.

    Mike

  2. #2
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Interesting article. Good re-use of existing retail space.

    I spent about a week in Pasto, Colombia. The town plaza was magnificent. The downtown is a place of narrow streets and cramped buildings, then in the center is this urban open space, paved in stones, expansive and classical in design and architecture.

    Hispanics are a much more social culture than Anglos. Gathering together, talking, dancing and eating together are important to them. It only seems natural that they would create for themselves a place where they could be themselves.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  3. #3
    Cyburbian craines's avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    Los Angeles, California
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    strip malls

    Ya hit the nail on the head as far as the cultural aspect and how it impacts the design and intended use of the space. It would seem that if we go back to a "Community Based" enviroment we could make it work.

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