‘Retrofitting Suburbia’ – 2 Twin Cities examples are models for the nation

By pinalice | May 25, 2021, 5:05pm EDT

June Williamson and Ellen Dunham-Jones, both architects and educators, recently published the text “Case Studies in Retrofitting Suburbia.” The publication adds to previous work the duo completed with their 2008 work “Retrofitting Suburbia.”

“Case Studies in Retrofitting Suburbia” focuses on the challenges with retrofitting suburban areas. In order to repurpose suburban areas successfully, the following issues must be remedied: disrupting automobile dependence, improving public health, supporting an aging population, “leveraging social capital for equity,” “compete for jobs” and “add water and energy resilience.”

For one case study, Williamson visited the Promenade Wayzata, formerly the Wayzata Bay Shopping Center in Minnesota. Previously, the location would flood and drain pollution into nearby wetlands. In 2017, a ten-year project concluded, repurposing the shopping center into a boutique hotel, senior housing, office space and lush lawn.

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