The shopping mall

[Victor] Gruen got an extraordinary number of things right first time [with his first shopping mall, Southdale in Minnesota]. He built a sloping road around the perimeter of the mall, so that half of the shoppers entered on the ground floor and half on the first floor–something that became a standard feature of malls. Southdale’s balconies were low, so that shoppers could see the shops on the floor above or below them. The car park had animal signs to help shoppers remember the way back to their vehicles. It was as though Orville and Wilbur Wright had not just discovered powered flight but had built a plane with tray tables and a duty-free service.

Birth, death and shopping: The rise and fall of the shopping mall,” The Economist, December 19, 2007

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