What America's shopping mall decline means for social space

  • Published on Month ago

    VoxVox

    Runtime: 5:07

    The mall was America’s third place - for better or for worse.
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    Our lives are lived in 1 of 3 places, the home, the workplace and the “third place,” which is anywhere outside of those two.
    Toward the end of the 20th century, the regional shopping mall had become that third place, the hang-out spot in suburban America. This was largely by design - an immigrant architect created the first mall in the vision that it would be a community gathering place.
    The plan didn’t work out as he intended. While malls did take off, they more often than not couldn’t quite catch on as ideal “third places.” But with an estimated 25% of shopping malls expected to close in the next five years, there’s an opportunity to re-examine where Americans spend their time and what could be the next iteration of the third place.
    Further reading for those interested in this subject, I recommend the following books and articles:
    Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place - he coined the term 'third place' and set the theory for the 8 qualities mentioned in this video: www.amazon.com/Great-Good-Place-Bookstores-Community/dp/1569246815
    New Yorker's 2006 profile of the creator of regional shopping malls: www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/03/15/the-terrazzo-jungle
    On the role US tax policy played in the shopping-center boom of the 1950s and 1960s: www.jstor.org/stable/2169635?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
    & Vox's Matt Ylgesias on the coming ‘retail apocalypse’ in the states: www.vox.com/new-money/2017/5/4/15124038/regional-mall-apocalypse
    p.s. here is Toto's Africa (playing in an abandoned shopping centre) usfilms.net/v-video-D__6hwqjZAs.html
    Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
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    malls  architecture  retail  economics  community  design  Vox.com  vox  explainer  shopping malls  third place  retail apocalypse  abandoned malls  victor gruen  social space  architectural design  mall architecture  great good place  american shopping mall  death of retail  regional shopping mall  super regional shopping mall  mall  national mall  public space  tom hanchett  ray oldenburg  the great good place  city planning  urban planning  community planning  

Vox
Vox

For those wondering about title graphic at :33, it's Cecil Robert's — Toto- Africa (playing in an empty shopping centre)! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D__6hwqjZAs

Month ago
Lunga Mnisi
Lunga Mnisi

Thought it was Sandstorm by Darude

Day ago
John Ward
John Ward

It’s all because of the negros and spics and queers.

23 days ago
Courtney Earnhart
Courtney Earnhart

I genuinely wish that smartphones disappeared

3 hours ago
IshtarNike
IshtarNike

Get a pub or two. Thank me later. -The UK

6 hours ago
aaron santoro
aaron santoro

higher quality malls are booming while ugly dry ones are dying. shopping isn’t going completely online

7 hours ago
Tracy Butler
Tracy Butler

My opinion place condos and apartments in them that would create consistent income don't tear them down

10 hours ago
John _Red_Corn
John _Red_Corn

Coffee shops, parks place to be

Day ago
Javier Cuesta
Javier Cuesta

Brilliant

Day ago
1525boy
1525boy

Vox must be based in the Washington D.C. area. I grew up in the D.C. area and have been to the National Mall several times. I can tell you that it is full of tourists and if you are there by yourself you really have no chance of striking up a meaningful conversation with someone let alone making a friend. There is no sense of community at the National Mall or anywhere else in Washington D.C. It's a very transient oriented, soulless city. It's simply not a real city.

2 days ago
Kenneth Edwards
Kenneth Edwards

VOX ! Where's the bias weird looking ultra liberal fruit ?

2 days ago
johnny chang
johnny chang

In my personal case is the place where I am having dinner, a pizza joint ;)

3 days ago
TheBoldImperator
TheBoldImperator

Malls and retail spaces were clearly overbuilt in America based on projections of endless middle class wealth that didn't come to be. People stopped making as much money, they stopped going to overpriced malls and paying for markups on items they could get online more directly from the manufacturer for cheaper. Commentators endlessly prattle on about the influence of the technology itself without realizing that the internet opened the door for a worldwide bidder's market where products could be shipped directly or near directly from the manufacturer for minuscule markups. How could malls survive in such a world? The fault lies with the zealous real estate developers who brushed aside concerns of stagnant growth in the very market sectors they were trying to appeal to (for the record, exclusive ultra-luxury malls are still doing quite well). Moreover than that, our very role with consumerism itself is starting to change. People aren't going out to Sears or Macys or even shipping products off of Amazon when they want to give gifts these days, they make gifts themselves. Home craft is exploding in popularity thanks to easy-use guides splattered all across the internet. Items like smartphones and computers don't enable consumerism, they decrease the impetus for it. You buy one laptop or one smartphone with one set of earphones and you never need a TV, radio, cassette player, vinyl player, bookshelf speakers. You never need to buy most pieces of media unless you like the person developing them. None of this was possible a generation ago, all of it was facilitated through the rise of the personal computer, internet, and smartphone. Now, people are interested not in the Macys or JC Penney's catalog, but how to craft pottery in the style of the 17th century. They're debating politics. They're interacting with other world cultures in a shared venue that is accessed by all. They don't need a mall anymore. We have the biggest 'mall' ever delved right at our fingertips. And it never ends.

3 days ago
joe ten
joe ten

narrating's is a little slow....got bored

4 days ago
Stein
Stein

No vaporwave Background music 4/5

4 days ago
My Perspective
My Perspective

Back in 1998 is when I first started seeing malls starting to fail. That is when I first started seeing Westfield and Simons buying up young failing malls in the centers of cities where other older malls had already failed and closed up. Some of those younger malls are still around, but they seem to be losing customers. The only malls that still seem to be holding on are malls that are in small towns with out a Walmart, and really big malls with high end stores that are in popular tourist destinations.

4 days ago
Encomana'l
Encomana'l

In Barcelona shopping malls are in the middle of the city and are open air so they are inviting. It's easy to go there and hang out even if you don't wanna buy anything. Then there is the traditional comercial streets wich are also really inviting and lots of cafeterias and parks. I think the biggest problem with america's "third place" is called suburbs. They made distances enormous and make the car mandatory for everything :/ I'd rather live in a tiny little village in europe (500 inhabitants) that albeit being tiny it'd probably have a convinience store, a bar and even a community centre at a 2 minutes walk than an american suburb.

5 days ago
Daniel Sheaffer
Daniel Sheaffer

Very false comparison between shopping and national mall.....

6 days ago
Globetrotter 0580
Globetrotter 0580

Victor Gruen was originally from Austria https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Gruen

8 days ago
shleepydoe
shleepydoe

Meet me at the mall, it’s going ___________.

9 days ago
Sam Vue
Sam Vue

Yeah I'm the type of person that if I want to purchase something I like to feel it try and see how it fit you know and sometimes online too if I like the products while I like the look I know what size I wear and how I imagine myself on there most of the time it looks awesome but there are a few times I have to send it back but that's you're not stopping me going to the mall to cuz I don't like to just sit on my computer or all my phone so I'll kids it's not getting the exercise do you need like anymore so that's a problem

9 days ago
Sam Vue
Sam Vue

Oh yeah that to social media social media is way too overrated and that would be gone soon too LOL

9 days ago
Sam Vue
Sam Vue

I know why the mall declined because recession people just don't have money to spend at the mall anymore and they're trying to scrape by putting food on the table for their family and plus only the rich people who shops there anymore but the middle class nowadays and the poor they go but they just go walk around they won't buy anything because of economy and pay are not the same as back then why me by that is that the pace really sucks even now in 2018 and everything else is rising so it's like you make money but you can't go up sometimes people don't even get raise but everything else is going up so that is part of the reason and I see that is happening right now in the United States I don't know about any other states but it's still United States but especially in California that's what's happening I see two more that are struggling right now and just yesterday I went to Sears at the mall is closing going out of business is what it said I love to go this smaller Mall because I don't like a lot of people and it's starting to dwindle I know that sooner or later on my favorite store will be gone too because of economy and now because of economy all those small building they're either going to be demolished or ghost Mall to me that's really sad

9 days ago
stischer47
stischer47

I'm sorry, but if I had to choose between being outside in rain, sleet, snow, mud, barking dogs...I'll take the mall.

9 days ago
Righteous Honour
Righteous Honour

My third place is the mosque. The people who come to my mosque are righteous people.

11 days ago
Donovan G. Bickers
Donovan G. Bickers

Affordable living space, A true community,... why shred up a beautiful complex?

12 days ago
Pamela Homeyer
Pamela Homeyer

3rd place is car

12 days ago
Pamela Homeyer
Pamela Homeyer

Those malls never should have existed....

12 days ago
Marco DiPietro
Marco DiPietro

Cool fact: That mall shown throughout the video is actually in my county- it's actually a decent place (I call it Montgomery Mall but I don't know its actual name lol) and it's in the DC suburbs- which means that you could feasibly go to both this mall and the National Mall within an hour or less.

13 days ago
marusak72
marusak72

The rest of the planet has not abandoned their cities so here we are, the Murica is trying to solve another self inflicted wound .... again.

13 days ago
Nikolai Forero F.
Nikolai Forero F.

Vaporwave

13 days ago
Cinnamon
Cinnamon

I liked the video! If I were to change anything, it'd be the energy/interest level of the narrator. He sounded just a bit like a 7th grader giving a history report

15 days ago
Jonathan McCann
Jonathan McCann

i live in a small city called West Monroe in Louisiana (Pop, 13k) neighbor city Monroe (Pop, 50K) has a mall, but its on the major decline. I'm in high school and i'm telling you almost never does anyone say ''lets go to the mall'' its just not fun if you aren't spending money, public parks and Chick-Fil-A dominate the ''Third Space'' everyone hangs out in the booths at Chick-Fil-A and walks around at the park, the Third Space isn't dead its just moved on

16 days ago
gerry o sullivan
gerry o sullivan

In Ireland the third space is definetly the pub!!But drink driving laws have gotten way tougher so people arent driving to them anymore,they are staying at home and its creating isolation as the pub is the kind of local centre in a lot of places.People wont go to the pub and just drink non alcoholic drinks either as that is looked on as stupid in Ireland. Right now in rural areas the government are testing a free bus service which will drive people to the local pub and back to combat the isolation. Just wondering what is the 3rd space in other countries rural areas?

17 days ago
Beth black
Beth black

This is bullshit. Tell the truth, it's not PC to say but the American mall declined at least in part to black youth harassing and attacking people. Also the malls were very ''dated'' looking and stuck in the 80's in terms of design. They needed a massive overhaul. Thirdly, people are just not as wealthy as they used to be. 20 years ago in the late 90's the U.S economy was fantastic.

18 days ago
Lady Tron
Lady Tron

Clone malls selling the same stuff.people starting to wake up do we really need to keep buying stuff to make us happy.

20 days ago
GamingTV
GamingTV

more fun for the rich? that's kinda negative isn't it? i was borderline poor growing up, i went to dallas malls all the time traveling 300 miles to get there, just because you're a cheapskate that don't like buying things doesn't mean it's for the rich, since when has going to a verizon booth or a best buy mobile been only for the rich anyway?

21 day ago
Raul: Trashlord
Raul: Trashlord

*hi everyone this is dan bell*

21 day ago
Martin Amarilla
Martin Amarilla

“Which one would you prefer?” Honestly? The shopping mall.

21 day ago
Diamond Eevee
Diamond Eevee

The mall is the best third place for youth. If I go to a coffee shop i'm going to get arrested for not being white If I go to the beach my toes get filled with sand, not only that but my toes are UGLY If I go anywhere else, it's not fun. If I go to the mall, yeah I ain't rich and yeah it feels bad knowing I can't buy anything in there but oh hey there's a movie theater inside where i can watch movies with my boyfriend

21 day ago
TheRealMrPeach
TheRealMrPeach

And Starbucks is NOT that place.

21 day ago
Combs High School
Combs High School

If there are no malls where are we suppose to buy clothes, shoes, and luxury products and etc?!!!!!!????? I need my GAP, Coach, Nike, Converse, Bath & Body Works, Dillard’s, Tom Hilfiger, MK, Etc...

21 day ago
Stormy
Stormy

The mall still is my 3rd place lol

22 days ago
Edgar Vilchis
Edgar Vilchis

Build wireless connected coffee shops that expand on floors as the demand for chairs and tables rise. Lower coffee cost and base a pay for the wireless connectivity, both wifi and electricity.

22 days ago
Liam Martin
Liam Martin

I can tell Vox isn't based in New Jersey. Malls ain't going nowhere here.

22 days ago
Ian Fenwick
Ian Fenwick

In typical fashion, the useful idiots at Vox failed to mention that shopping malls were originally designed by an Austrian immigrant man to resemble the traditionally Euorpean market squares. They were originally intended to be whole communities of mixed use space for not just consumption, but also community activities and worship spaces. Of course, I wouldn't expect the armchair Marxists at vox to comprehend a social contract more complex than "going shopping."

23 days ago
DSQueenie
DSQueenie

2:10 is that the mall from Clueless?

24 days ago
Maryland Man
Maryland Man

Owings Mills Mall was not very safe.

24 days ago
Michael Fisher
Michael Fisher

We really need a new type of mall built around the center of the mall housing a train station and having housing in addition to commercial space for travel, work, home, and play. All in one building.

24 days ago
Leo Di Pietro
Leo Di Pietro

Bruh my local mall was in this, holy smokes

25 days ago
japhygato
japhygato

There was no altruism in what Gruin did. He wanted to make money. Grow up.

25 days ago
Amanda H
Amanda H

I'd like to see malls turn into affordable housing

26 days ago
Brandon the brain
Brandon the brain

Can you guys just have a conversation without trying to teach people stuff God I hate Vox you guys suck

27 days ago
Jelly Lin
Jelly Lin

I don't know why but I've always hated going to the mall. I would be willing to go at first but then sooner or later I just want to leave. There's something that doesn't sit well with me.

27 days ago
Michael Sanches
Michael Sanches

There are many replacements for malls springing up to hang out in. Downtowns are being revitalized everywhere into outdoor shopping malls many square blocks big. Libraries are really stepping up into activity centers as ebooks spread. Parks are getting more fancy. Coffee shops are springing up all over. Many other small areas are also springing up, such as game stores. Basically, all the relationship angles are being spread all over the community making them more accessible instead of concentrated in a center location. And, while many malls are dying as retail centers, many are being repurposed as lifestyle centers. It has been found that the old anchor stores make good office locations. Even government offices are setting up in some malls. Malls that cost $100-$200 million to build are sold for $10 million. This allows the new owners to get cheaper tenants, since they have less invested and smaller monthly payments.

28 days ago
spearofpower
spearofpower

Number 3 is now the gym or social media

28 days ago
Marc Lowenthal
Marc Lowenthal

I feel like Malls are an important piece in society for Minnesotans. Due to our extreme weather, we cherish the ability to go to the mall with friends and family. For one, we have the Mall of America which I go simply to walk and talk with friends as well as eat, not to shop. I go to the mall fairly often with friends and when I’m there, I rarely shop, I leave that for a later time. Minnesota, where the Mall was made, is a good example of a place where Malls are still a third place.

29 days ago
Dink Martini
Dink Martini

Communist much?

29 days ago
Cat Lis
Cat Lis

I personally think a happy medium would be to bring back the classic shopping arcade. Something much more contained, with small boutiques as opposed to outrageously large outlet or department stores. Places small businesses could afford to rent out, which would encourage local businesses and support the community as opposed to entirely catering to huge department store chains, while being in a beautiful place and more intimate atmosphere. Seriously, look up old-fashioned shopping arcades. These places are beautiful and look so much classier than the junky contemporary malls we have nowadays. I personally think they could be made to be energy efficient, be inviting to hipster-ish stores and cafes, but without the labyrinthine wastes of space modern malls are. I think the solution isn't that the American mall /has/ to die out, but that it needs to look to its roots and downsize the same way the economy is. Trim the fat and decrease excess, if you will.

29 days ago
XxiaojoeX
XxiaojoeX

Hey, looks like Montgomery Mall in North Bethesda. Live in the area? lol

Month ago
JR G
JR G

Loved the malls in the 70s and 80s. They would have shows, music, vendors great place to just hang out after school. Today everyone is indoors, you just buy online and it is delivered to you.

Month ago
Sarah Judd
Sarah Judd

If you're interested on things like this check out Thisisdanbell here on YouTube--he has a series called 'dead malls' where he explores and films failing and abandoned American Malls

Month ago
Dmitriy Sizonenko
Dmitriy Sizonenko

I live a mile from southdale mall

Month ago
Very Best Gamers
Very Best Gamers

The malls in Rapid City, Sioux City, Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Sioux Falls are not dying.

Month ago
NIBBA WHOMST DABBLE IN MEMES
NIBBA WHOMST DABBLE IN MEMES

So why are they called malls

Month ago
LorenzoDIYz
LorenzoDIYz

*this is deep*

Month ago
Jeff Claterbaugh
Jeff Claterbaugh

Watching this video definitely did not qualify as a good choice for third place use of my time.

Month ago
chris reese
chris reese

That speech affect is sleep inducing.

Month ago
TrulyStupidNewb
TrulyStupidNewb

Are malls more fun for the rich? I don't find pleasure in buying stuff at the mall. I like the mall more for its climate control, its atmosphere, and the walks.

Month ago
Nicholas Kalas-Hernandez
Nicholas Kalas-Hernandez

I would like to point out that Gruen actually designed a great mall and “third place”. The problem, as with every good design in this country, is that cheap knockoffs were created, without the care that Gruen put into his original design.

Month ago
okrajoe
okrajoe

We reached (and exceeded) peak mall

Month ago
thefourthestate
thefourthestate

Stealing more stuff from vice. Ezra sux.

Month ago
The Slayer
The Slayer

If you live in a cold climate malls are a great place to hang out with friends and just walk around and chill. Coffee shops and bars are just sit down venues. Parks are nice in the summer really. I've noticed malls revitalizing their food courts and adding more cafes and snack options in the past decade, and I think that could be a good way to keep them going as a third space.

Month ago
Josh
Josh

Local spots are the best. Nature is also a great spot!

Month ago
Ashley
Ashley

I feel like online shopping is doing something

Month ago
John Alich
John Alich

That comparison to the National Mall in DC is one of the dumbest things I've seen.

Month ago
Karan Trivedi
Karan Trivedi

Time to bring back the Roman forum

Month ago
A Human
A Human

It’s cold where I live. Malls offer a place to be warm and spend time with people even when weather is bad or I’m not buying much.

Month ago
Leah Tverly
Leah Tverly

Go roller skating at your local roller rink!!!!!!

Month ago
Isadore Weiss
Isadore Weiss

my local mall is re-purposing itself to be more of a social place with dining and entertainment to deal with the recent mall slump and i think that's pretty clever. i hardly ever go to the mall just to shop unless its something specific or just general clothes shopping a couple times a year (even then i buy a lot of that stuff online) and i don't usually want to stay for long. the mall recently opened an arcade/bar/bowling alley/karaoke/pool hall and i've been there almost every week, and while i'm there i usually end up buying food and maybe even digging around FYE or Gamestop or checking out a sale because i'm there anyway.

Month ago
banana 101
banana 101

More like four places once you die.

Month ago
Jasper DiLincoln
Jasper DiLincoln

Honestly Malls just suck nowadays unless you go to a really nice upscale mall on the other side of town. It's just better to go on line and shop it is truly easier.

Month ago
Faizan Ali
Faizan Ali

Malls aren't failing because there's anything wrong with malls themselves. It was actually a much needed social space addition to the American way of living. The problem is that the very idea of a suburb is inherently flawed. It assumes that in a perfect, Utopian world where every owns a car and has a family and earns the perfect amount of money will eventually be drawn to suburbs. Here are a couple of reasons why that was a flawed theory: 1. Not everyone owns a car or can afford one. 2. Not everyone has a family and does not _need_ relatively big houses with multiple bedrooms, a garage and a huge garden. 3. Most people would prefer to live closer to where they work so their commutes are shorter. If you look most American cities/towns and compare them to most European cities you'd notice an extremely substantial difference between their architecture and how they're set up. Most American cities were developed as the car industry started to boom. This meant that people back then thought of a perfect "American" city where all the industries and commercial buildings were in the middle of the city with surrounding areas becoming suburbs. Not only did they not account for pollution but also were so incompetent that they completely forgot about the implications it would have in the near future. It's impractical for anyone who does not own a car to live in a American city that isn't New York or Chicago or Boston or Portland. The thousands of other cities are shaped to accommodate cars and not pedestrians or its people. This is why there is a huge car culture in America and not in any other country. I would argue this focus on cars has also significantly adversely affected the health of our citizens in direct or indirect ways. I don't just mean pollution, but the lack of exercise that regular car dependency induces can also negatively affect your weight and of course health. The perfect city is one where you can walk to anywhere and has good transportation and is highly densely packed. Hopefully suburbs die off.

Month ago
gerry o sullivan
gerry o sullivan

Problem is in european cities to live in the city centre the rents/mortgages are insane compared to the suburbs,most people living in city centres are flat sharing or in a tiny bedsit so thats why everyone eventually moves out to suburbs when they get older/have a family.The public transportation is way better than in the states but it is still a lot handier to have a car,no need to own a car in the centre at all

17 days ago
LosAngeles323
LosAngeles323

The mall by my house is still booming. I think it mostly has to do with most people being immigrant, older. Plus most people in my neighborhood go to the mall with their family. They just opened a Cotton on and a theater. I don't think my mall is going anywhere any time soon.

Month ago
Smitty LegitLastname
Smitty LegitLastname

Liked the video, but don't tell me what to do

Month ago
Cindy Morrow
Cindy Morrow

Trying to find some free codes? Simply go to Google and search: "Genxcode4U", you will get new working codes there.

Month ago
George Batton
George Batton

We might also blame zoning laws that cut residential areas off from commercial areas. There is no way to walk to a local business and hence the need for all these cars and ugly parking lots.

Month ago
Nils / Slini11
Nils / Slini11

2:25 In America you need a car. In europe you can also go by bus/train, walk or use your bike :D.

Month ago
gerry o sullivan
gerry o sullivan

Dont they have any bus service going near suburbs in the States?

17 days ago
Accelr8r
Accelr8r

I'm gonna guess the third place is now the internet?

Month ago
Accelr8r
Accelr8r

Called it!

Month ago
William Baker
William Baker

No mention of Dan Bell? 😞

Month ago
James Teeples
James Teeples

First person to say fart

Month ago
Sandy Rene'
Sandy Rene'

My 3rd place is the Internet as getting out of the house isn't possible due to disability.

Month ago
Rahil
Rahil

Simple explanation: Internet

Month ago
JuandelaCruz001
JuandelaCruz001

So the "National Mall" is called. . . a PARK!

Month ago
robbo28
robbo28

Dos Gringos! My local breakfast place for like 8 years. Nice surprise ending!

Month ago
wwq wg
wwq wg

im sorry but he speaks kinda slow

Month ago
Ded Hampster
Ded Hampster

As a young degreed professional in my 30s, my circle of friends and I have found that there are few good "third" places. We heavily support our local gaming shop even though his stock is more expensive than online because he provided half the store space for board, card and roleplaying games. If malls and stores like ToysRUs has provided gathering space then those places would still be in business. Imagine a kids birthday party held at ToysRUs where an associate walked the kids though an engineering Lego or science kit. Put a café in ToysRUs that serves photogenic icecream and sweets like Japanese cafes. Heavily decorate the zones with generic themes (dolls, superheroes, space etc.) and put a small, well maintained arcade that promotes team and versus games. A good VR booth with Vive and Oculus Rift would bring crowds in.

Month ago
Jasper Ruysch
Jasper Ruysch

Public girlfriend afternoon almost bowl steel elementary driving.

Month ago
Jacob Casha
Jacob Casha

Unnnless you live in Singapore, where you can walk pretty much every where

Month ago
Manual To Lyf
Manual To Lyf

The opposite is happening in the Philippines where the mall has become the ideal "third place" - with places to shop, accessible via public transport, and provides air conditioning from the hot tropical weather.

Month ago
I WANT MY SLAW!!
I WANT MY SLAW!!

the problem is the malls themselves. They stopped making them worthwhile places to visit. It's like the show that's on it's 25th season, but it jumped the shark years ago, and it's just worth watching anymore.

Month ago
Keli Weisgerber
Keli Weisgerber

I am sure that you will find good way to make it on stodoys Webpage.

Month ago

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