As the Enclosed Mall Era Fades, Learning Lessons, Both Bad and Good

For all the bad press that the traditional enclosed mall receives today from planners, there are certainly retail strategies they excelled at that will be pertinent long into the future, argues Geoff Dyer.

Dyer offers design solutions that pull from shopping mall successes ("anchors are critical", "create a clear shopping stroll") and apply the A-Grid / B-Grid to structure walkable commercial streets as well as more service oriented thoroughfares. Dyer says:

"As many of us are actively trying to reform car-focused retail into dynamic mixed-use, walkable urban centers, we are quick to point at the mall as the poster child for everything we are trying to reform. But as the heyday of last-century's drive-to mall fades into the past, there are many things that the mall excelled at."

"While these lessons are certainly applicable to the design of new regional centers (and yes, there are many under construction or in planning even in current economic times), they can also be applied in both traditional main street settings and for the transformation of dead malls into walkable mixed use places. We're taking a look at some of the design lessons that can be learned from the mall, as well as lessons that we've learned since then."

Thanks to Hazel Borys

Full Story: Designing Regional Urban Retail Centers: Lessons from the Mall and Beyond

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $16.95 a month
DVD Cover of The Story of Sprawl

The Story of Sprawl

See how America changed shape in this collection of historic films that visually document how sprawl evolved.
$29.99 for 2-DVD SET

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $50.
$369 includes free shipping!