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PROJECT RUNWAY

When airports shutter, what should we do with them?

Athen's airports, one new, one old
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  • Amanda Shendruk
By Amanda Shendruk

Visual journalist

Published Last updated on

As past-their-prime airports are abandoned, what should—or can—be done with the unique spaces and buildings left behind?

It’s a question communities ask around the world. Following years of legal battles, Santa Monica Airport near Los Angeles will be closing in 2028, with residents hoping to see the space turned into a park. Aero-philes in in Montreal weren’t so lucky; Mirabel Airport was demolished in 2014, 20 years after its last flight. Plans to turn what was once the world’s largest airport into a theme park fell through. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul closed its doors. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to turn it into a garden.

Here’s what some cities have done to recycle their airports.

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