Big boxes have quite literally altered the suburban retail landscape, and changed the way we shop, but now they are the hot urban prototype. Seems like a logical next step — changing demographics, dwindling good sites out there in the ‘burbs, growing NIMBYism — but how will big boxes adapt their somewhat impoverished formats (tilt-wall construction, an ocean of surface parking and that debilitating din) to the vicissitudes of the big city? (See expert analysis, page 189.) If Toys ‘R’ Us in Times Square is any indication, hard-core urbanites will run for the subway screaming. For a more sassy illustrated analysis of retail trends from architecture firm RTKL, see pages 106-107.