The Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) published "Greyfields into Goldfields" in 2002, and followed with "Malls into Mainstreets" in 2006. They layout plans to reshape these vast suburban wastelands (which are already nicely graded, paved, and hooked up to municipal utilities) into new, vibrant urban nodes.
This All Things Considered story (aired 12/10/2008) about remaking Tyson's Corner, VA sits at the tip of the iceberg, in my opinion.
I would like to hear a followup to that encourages listeners to think of ALL "conventional" mallspaces as having this sort of long-range potential, for towns of ALL sizes. My friend Josh replied that the mayor (of the neighboring township) interviewed in this article "sounds like a total dipshit..." for wanting to "have a voice" in (i.e., complain about) such planning deliberations.
If you sit in your own shit long enough, Ms. Mayor, you forget that it stinks.