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Cleveland shopping mall transformed into greenhouse

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March 10 2010

Cleveland shopping mall transformed into greenhouse
An unconventional approach to the reclamation of vacant retail units has been adopted by the Cleveland Galleria Mall in America in an attempt to cultivate a greener future.

The glazed over mall had been battling a downturn in fortunes which had seen the temple to consumerism decline into vacancy as the recession bit chunks out of local disposable incomes.

Now rivals are green with envy after employees hit upon the notion of converting vacant units into an eco village by growing fruit and vegetables for sale on site, transforming the house of consumerism into a greenhouse

Dubbed “Gardens Under Glass” the first fruits of the initiative have already been placed in carts of produce alongside circulation routes whilst an education centre provides green fingered tenants with a shop window to individuals and restaurateurs.

The project has now secured $30k start up grant from Cleveland’s Civic Innovation lab which will allow the centre to engage with school children and teams of urban gardeners working beds of greens raised hydroponically, aquaponically and in organic soils.

Vast out of town malls are ten a penny in America and are seen as relics of outdated planning laws. Far from being temporary phenomena some developers foresee a fundamental shift in the type and nature of these “single-use environments” over the next 30 years.

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