Articles & Info >

Green Malls

Shopping malls, with its huge building footprint, carbon dioxide production, sprawling parking areas, light consumption and mass generation of waste, is definitely not synonomous with sustainable or green developments. This is probably the picture that jumps to mind when we refer to the Mall.

This example typifies the times in which we live. We get to rethink every aspect of life; to redesign it. Even an ecological footpring glutton like a shopping mall can be recreated into a, at least more, energy efficient structure. This does not only entail the consumption of green energy, water saving through water efficient finsihes etc. In rethinking the mall from a green perspective it can become the hub that will facilitate the green reform of the communities’ aroud the mall. Innovative ideas might include things like preferential parking for clients with hyrid vehicles, provision for and easy access to public transport (including minibus taxis in South Africa), green roofs, restoring the surrounding environment etc.

This sounds like a noble dream, but not that economical viable you might argue. The good news is that this is more than a dream; it is a reality currently unfolding in Chicago, USA. The Green Exchange is the first green mall.

"Green Exchange is committed to shifting the green marketplace from niche to mainstream, making green living easy and accessible for the public, and giving green businesses and innovators the national stage they need to grow exponentially." -- The Braum Brothers, The Green Exchange

Shopping Malls are a given reality. You might disadree with its right to existence based on shear need for resources. However, this is not going to make malls disappear. The only option is to change the mall paradigm, to rethink the design, to recreate the model so that it becomes an educational tool; an agent of change Make a proactive choice, support the greenest mall near you!