October 2: The future of malls | DesignPhiladelphia | Renaming 30th St Station

Retail industry executives are pushing back on the perilous perceptions of America’s malls, the Inquirer’s Suzette Parmley reports. The heads of commercial real estate giants Jones Lang LaSalle, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), and CBL Properties discuss the industry’s shifts in co-tenancy, new technology, and retail mix. In Philly, PREIT’s latest endeavor is the revamping of East Market as Fashion District Philadelphia.

Officials are working to force Amtrak to rename 30th Street Station after the late U.S. Rep. Bill Gray, WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports. President Obama signed a measure in 2014 calling for the name change; local, state, and federal officials say that Amtrak has been resisting compliance, offering instead to put up a plaque in honor of the first black majority whip in Congress and former head of the United Negro College Fund.

It’s time for DesignPhiladelphia 2017 folks! This year’s “thoughtful design, collaborative business practices, and community engagement” festival runs October 4 to October 14. Some events of interest include the Fluid Boundary Between Industrial Design and Architecture, the Geodesign Forum, and Indy Hall’s We are all Designers exhibition. Check out the full calendar here.

Appropriately, Grid’s October issue focuses on design. Belinda Sharr gives a rundown on infrastructure and design shorts, Justin Klugh takes a look at resident developments in Philadelphia that subscribe to the passive house standard, and Brittany Barbato shines light on the city’s solar programs, including the Find Your Power WorkReady Philadelphia course and the latest Municipal Energy Master Plan.

The Discovery Center in Strawberry Mansion broke ground Saturday, Curbed Philly reports. The East Fairmount Park Reservoir has been closed to the public for five decades. Audubon PA and the Philadelphia Outward Bound School joined forces to fundraise for and build the $18 million research and conservation facility.

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