The National Post has recently published an article on strip mall architecture and steps that are now being taken to counteract this form of development. The article begins with a poignant statement of the poor aesthetics of strip mall structure, "The first time cultural geographer Merle Patchett saw Edmonton’s sprawl from the airplane, she felt the culture shock shared by so many European immigrants to the Prairie city. Crumbling, tacky and unloved, the bland 1950s-era strip mall remains the scourge of developers and urban planners alike..." The full article is available online.
Patchett has developed an initiative with the University of Alberta’s City Region Studies Centre entitled Strip Appeal. The initiative consists of a contest appealing to designers, architects, and others with mind for urban structures to cultivate a plan for retrofitting a strip mall littered land. Ideally, Strip Appeal will reinvent the strip mall into something that can enhance community rather than detract from it.