Shopping Plazas / Shopping Malls

In an inversion of the shopping center’s internal parking format, shopping plazas and malls relegate parking to the exterior while fronting stores almost all businesses onto an interior pedestrian network. The layout of this common space often mimics 19th century shopping arcades and involves a spine (or “mall” from the British word for a long broad lawn); a web of courtyard spaces is occasionally employed. Most such complexes developed during the 1950s were open- air; however, following Victor Gruen’s climate controlled Southdale Center Mall near Edina, Minnesota, enclosed malls gained favor and became the industry norm. Almost simultaneously, the advent of the outdoor pedestrian shopping mall, often as an urban revitalization tactic, appeared in Burdick Mall in Kalamazoo, Michigan.