When can you tell enough is enough? Is there any hope for our nation if there isn’t constant growth? These are the questions I find myself asking when I read stories like this.

Cincinnati Mills, one of the largest retail centers in the region, has seen store after store shutter. This comes after millions of dollars of reinvestment into a massive mall sandwiched in between two others along a mall interstate of sorts.

It really makes you wonder (at least me), do we really need all of this retail space. The same can even be said for urban environments where seemingly every new renovation project, in a mixed-use built area, seems to call for street-level retail with residential or office space above. I suggest that we return the area, where Cincinnati Mills sits, to a natural state. That is obviously an extreme proposal, but at the very least tear down that mall (said in my best Ronald Reagan voice) for some other/better use.

This region is growing much slower than our retail space is expanding…and it seems obvious that the retail locally (and nationally) can not sustain itself by the free market alone. It seems to me that the best alternative would be to let struggling retail space ride off into the sunset. This would allow for values to rise at other retail locations, and we could begin the process of ridding ourselves of our excessive retail space…and who knows, maybe even our over-consumerism.

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Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.