Much has been said over the last few years as one shopping mall after another suffers high vacancy rates and in many instances closes.
Several people, including folks such as Christopher Leinberger, have written much about the re-use of such areas.
And as this Economist magazine article points out, there are efforts taking place around the country to make such places more sustainable and attractive.
As Michigan's economy continues to recover, it seems to this writer that economic development efforts both at the local and state level should focus on how to make best use of such properties first before we dig up another piece of farmland or greenfield.
Our development priorities should be centered around re-use and sustainability as a long term effort to revitalize our economy.
Arnold Weinfeld is Director of Strategic Initiatives and Federal Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League. He can be reached at 517-908-0304 or by e-mail