What America's shopping mall decline means for social space

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  • Published on:  Friday, April 6, 2018
  • The mall was America’s third place — for better or for worse.Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjOOur 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: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Good-Pla...New Yorker's 2006 profile of the creator of regional shopping malls: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...On the role US tax policy played in the shopping-center boom of the 1950s and 1960s: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2169635?...& Vox's Matt Ylgesias on the coming ‘retail apocalypse’ in the states: https://www.vox.com/new-money/2017/5/...p.s. here is Toto's Africa (playing in an abandoned shopping centre) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D__6h...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 http://www.vox.com.Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyEFollow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06oOr Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H


  • Vox
    Vox  a years ago +799

    For those wondering about title graphic at :33, it's Cecil Robert's — Toto- Africa (playing in an empty shopping centre)! https://cnclips.net/video/D__6hwqjZAs/video.html

  • mako
    mako  a years ago +1398

    where are we gonna hold out against the zombos when all the malls are gone? that's what i wanna know.

  • Jesus Gonzalez
    Jesus Gonzalez  a years ago +240

    Malls are a perversion of the walkable downtown. Just end car culture and third places will thrive.

  • Steven D
    Steven D  a years ago +249

    Malls also have outrageously high rent per square foot. Only tenants that can afford it are big brands. And even they can’t seem to cope with the prices. Let alone a local with high hopes having a prayer of making it work out.

  • Josh Prada
    Josh Prada  a years ago +118

    America has volumes to learn from Europe in this particular aspect. Spain, for example, is fantastic at this and you can find "third spaces" everywhere. There is a good public transport network and cities/towns are walkable throughout, not only a small two-street area in downtown, as is characteristic of most US cities/towns. That's why I see so much future in places like Indianapolis, where infrastructure supports the development of third spaces for everyone to enjoy.

  • Penguinexpress
    Penguinexpress  a years ago +717

    Did I hear Toto from Africa?

  • アンダーソン
    アンダーソン  a years ago +1110

    ayyyy shout out to the "Toto- Africa (playing in an empty shopping centre)" video in the intro lmaoo

  • Vogel Account
    Vogel Account  a years ago +96

    So an increase in malls over a forty year period of 400%, then a decline of 25% (giving an overall total growth of 300%) means the death of...anything? No, it was an overbuild and now the market is correcting. It isn't the death of the mall.

  • &&
    &&  a years ago +55

    Malls aren’t only fun for the rich I’m fairly poor and I have a blast just walking around the mall with my friends. Also, there’s just too many malls and most of them need to be remodeled to today’s standards to appeal to the people.

  • theDARK Pototoy
    theDARK Pototoy  a years ago +189

    The mall? I haven’t heard any one say those words in years.

  • www.GPcarAudio.com
    www.GPcarAudio.com  a years ago +365

    Support your local dive bars.
    The winning 3rd place.

  • Jtrain Media
    Jtrain Media  a years ago +94

    Was with you until you talked about how "affordable" it is to get into DC. I live in the DC suburbs in NOVA and using any form of public transit to get there will light your wallet on fire. Metro, bus, and VRE all cost an arm and a leg.
    And if you want to tell me the solution is to live closer to the National Mall, I'll gladly link you to the thousands upon thousands of dollars you're going to need to pay to rent out a closet-sized living space.

  • Nevermore
    Nevermore  a years ago +15

    Malls are a good idea. Unfortunately politicians refused to keep min wages up to date since the 1960's. Today a lot of "careers" are being paid the equivalent of the minimum wage in the 1960's... hence you now need two parents to afford a nice home. Needless to say this radical decline in wages over the past 60 years roughly gives most people less spare cash to blow at the mall for fun. When people are hyper price conscious... they go on Ebay and order that product from China instead, skipping the American retailer altogether.
    Tariffs on these goods isn't addressing the underlying problem which is stagnant wage growth. The result will be people not buying that item at all. I don't necessarily need book ends or kitten faced coasters. I buy lots of random things on a whim but if the prices go up, then I consider the purchase more, ask myself... do I really need this? And usually the answer is no. That's not good for the economy as it heavily relies on casual purchasing. I just spent $20 on green tea matcha... but if you force me to buy it from a mall with a hefty tariff attached... no, it's not going to sell. I can go without matcha. xD

  • Ellis Guerrero
    Ellis Guerrero  a years ago +23

    Who Remembers going to the mall to talk to girls?

  • Bluemarvel 777
    Bluemarvel 777  a years ago +9

    My city approved a revitalized outlets mall a few years ago and during the weekdays, that third place is nearly vacant. People like me want fun things to do and memorable experiences not just a place to spend money every other day. If there were activities alongside the stores, more people would spend their time at my local Outlets mall just like the National Mall.

  • Artus Meyer-Toms
    Artus Meyer-Toms  a years ago +933

    Large dining halls with healthy, reasonable priced food like at the universities would make a great 'third place' for me.

  • sarcasmo57
    sarcasmo57  a years ago +131

    Suburbia was a bad idea.

  • Shadowphoenixfire
    Shadowphoenixfire  a years ago +16

    I hope people can consider going to their local public library as a viable option for an indoor "third place." Libraries have changed and evolved a lot in recent years and when well-funded can be great safe places to meet friends, take a class, learn new things, play games, or just hang out.

  • Xario1
    Xario1  a years ago +169

    Recently I have found that a growing "3rd place" is the virtual space. As someone who lives literally in the middle of nowhere, I have had a hard time making friends with the small community that exists here in real life, as many of the people here have very different views and opinions than I do, so when I found VRChat, it felt like I finally found a place where I can make some friends and hang out with people, even if it is in a virtual space and they are actually miles upon miles away.

  • Dustin Stumbo
    Dustin Stumbo  a years ago +30

    Dan Bell <3
    Dead Mall