Apr 6, 2005

'Bizarre outgrowth of the suburban mentality'

The next phase in the 49-year history of the mall appears to be here: faux urban streets billed as "lifestyle centers," imitating public space and mixed use by adding open-air plazas, sidewalks, and street-side parking to "convey a sense of being out and about in the world" in hopes of attracting high-end shoppers.

An Alaskan megachurch is buying a mall for worship space while maintaining and hopefully increasing the mall's retail business. Some businesses are worried about the church-landlords forcing them out for piety's sake (e.g. Walden Books, wary after a history of being boycotted), while others just hope that with the over 1,000 Sunday crowd of worshiper-shoppers, business will improve. (via The Revealer, where they've been focusing on megachurches a bit.)

Meanwhile, Gideon Strauss is considering walkable differences between an the new and old neighborhoods of Hamilton, the three rules of what makes a city good to walk in, and worrying (in the comments) that New Urbanism is only viable for the rich.