Suburban malls have seen better days, and from the looks of it, the age of the mall is dying. And developers answers to this era is to reuse the space for a multitude of new purposes, such as hospitals, churches, and even parks. Currently there are 211 spaces across the country that are being retrofitted for another purpose, but the reason there is a problem is because we overbuilt in the first place.

According to Ellen Dunham-Jones, an architect and professor at Georgia Tech, there are about 1,200 enclosed malls in the United States, and about one-third of them are dead or dying. That's because developers rapidly overbuilt malls in the 20th century, she said: The U.S. has twice as much square footage in shopping centers per capita than the rest of the world, and six times as much as countries in Europe.

"The malls died for a reason," she told CityLab. "We were way over retailed." Read More