Links for July 17, 2016

Ghost Boxes: Reusing Abandoned Big-Box Superstores Across America

These boxy buildings not only take up vast amounts of land but often also require infrastructure around them to be overhauled. Later, when their super-sized occupants leave: a giant empty structure is left in their wake, which can be difficult to reuse unless a similar retailer takes its place. Some communities and architects, however, have started to turn these voids into opportunities, taking advantage of qualities unique to such megastructures. In one Texas town, a vacated Walmart has become the biggest single-story public library in the United States.


When You Dial 911 and Wall Street Answers

Private equity put a unique stamp on these businesses. Unlike other for-profit companies, which often have years of experience making a product or offering a service, private equity is primarily skilled in making money. And in many of these businesses, The Times found, private equity firms applied a sophisticated moneymaking playbook: a mix of cost cuts, price increases, lobbying and litigation. In emergency care and firefighting, this approach creates a fundamental tension: the push to turn a profit while caring for people in their most vulnerable moments.


Signed & Subtitled: We're The Superhumans – trailer for Channel 4’s coverage of the 2016 Paralympics.