Weekly Snapshot
March 11, 2011
The Weekly Snapshot is a look back at some of the most compelling stories in the world of urban planning and policy

Largest Mall in the World is a Chinese Ghost Town
The world's largest mall, located in Southern China, is a vast ghost land with occupancy rates that hover at 1%. The mall, built to serve what may someday become a Chinese mega-city, is a glimpse at what can occur when development precedes growth.

A Place-Based Approach to Food Access: Creating a Healthier Future for Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama, the country's second most obese city, is creating a new system of outdoor markets to increase resident's accessibility to fresh, healthy food as well as to create vibrant neighborhood hubs in a city where public space is lacking.

Greenest Homes Are Those Near Public Transportation
A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency finds that homes located near public transportation use less energy than homes specifically designed to be "energy efficient," such as ones with Energy Star ratings.

Volunteers Dream Up Ways to Change Menlo Park Neighborhood as Facebook Prepares to Move In
In preparation for its corporate relocation to Menlo Park, Facebook hosted a one-day design charrette with more than 150 architects, planners and community members in order to spark a dialogue on how to turn the neighborhood into a vibrant business and residential area.

Bay Area's Growth Slowed to a Crawl, Census Finds
According to the 2010 Census, the San Francisco Bay Area saw the slowest rate of growth in its history last decade. Some worry that the slowing growth rate will contribute to a loss of political power for the region as congressional boundaries are redrawn.

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