The Life and Death of the American Pedestrian Mall
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Planners enthusiastically implement pedestrian malls across America, without fully understanding their failure in the 20th century. To ensure new malls avoid economic decline, increased crime, increased vacancy, or low utilization, planners must understand how to effectively design pedestrian malls. Using statistical analysis and case studies, factors correlated to mall lifespan are identified. The statistical model identifies what geographic, economic, and social factors correlate with long lasting malls: Populations under 100,000, sunny days greater than 60%, median age under 30, being a major tourist destination, or White demographics over 70% (this is based on historical data and will hopefully change as cities diversify). Five malls with long lifespans fell outside these parameters and were analyzed in case studies. The case studies identify site-specific factors which lead to increased longevity: Unique paving material, overhead protection, building height more than three stories, transparency, and night lighting.
Clarence S. Stein Institute
Pedestrian malls; Urban design; Pedestrian
case studydissertation or thesis