October 8, 2013

People Are Hungry for Public Spaces

This is an outdoor mall. (Westfield Century City) But what is it that people find attractive about this place? It is outdoors, but there is a sense of safety and enclosure. It is clean and modern and the interiors of all the store are well lit and visible as people walk past. In other words, there is stuff to look at. There is plenty of seating throughout the mall and it offers people a chance to rest or just sit and watch people. To see and be seen. The office towers of Century City that surround this mall as well as the super graphic movie ads contribute to the urban vibe that people like here. There is something else about this place that most of the people enjoying it don't realize. There are not cars zooming by them. They ditched their cars downstairs and are enjoying walking around a space that exceeds the area of a small downtown shopping district. This mall is not an authentic downtown, but it provides many of the same sorts of urban experiences. There's no requirement that you buy something at this mall. You can just be there among other people rather than isolated in a car.

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