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Students Present Design Strategies to Lansing Planning Board

computer rendering of a movie theater and retail store with green space
Rendering of redesigned retail and entertainment spaces. image / Yixuan Li

Students in Visiting Critic Mitch Glass’s Advanced Urban Design Workshop create real urban design strategies to address real issues for real clients. This week, this semester’s cohort presented their plans to transform The Shops at Ithaca Mall and Cayuga Mall into a mixed-use regional and village center to the Village of Lansing Planning Board and Board of Trustees. Their presentations were covered by a local news outlet.

aerial view of The Shops at Ithaca Mall and Cayuga Mall
image / Yixuan Li

Students were tasked with turning these suburban shopping malls into a dense, walkable, bikeable and transit-connected neighborhood while also mitigating traffic impact over a 30-40 year period. They worked in three teams and proposed strategies such as expanding workforce housing, development of a wellness path, creation of an outdoor recreation center, and daylighting streams which have been running underneath the malls’ parking lots for decades.

For the past twenty years, suburban shopping malls have been on the decline. Plans to update these retail spaces while creating cohesive neighborhoods can breathe into them new life.


collage of images of student drawings and students working on drawings
photos / Mitch Glass
Computer rendering of a park with a tower
image / Xinyu He
Map illustrating two streams running underground beneath a shopping mall
image / Quinn Kelly

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