Malls are a nightmare for a city!

A mall typically is in an isolated place away from a high street and typically has a large car park area. People drive in from miles. They don’t walk to the mall, they drive to the mall, park their cars in this huge car park lots . Due to the huge car parking requirements these malls become misfits for the cities as they create horrendous traffic jams. You see it in Mumbai where there are horrendous jams just getting in and out of the mall which creates problems.
The concept of malls really came up when there was a lot of horizontal development in suburbia which started in the United States .There was a lot of horizontal development and low density development where there was no real concentration of communities.Very small, low density enclaves all spread apart. So a mall became a sort of centre magnet where from maybe hundred kilometres away people would drive in, park their cars in huge car park lots to do their week shopping in their SUVs and load their SUVs and get back home. This mall model was brought into the city unfortunatey.
Many cities in the world have refused Malls in the city by not giving them licenses as they destroy the essence of a city. In Portland or New York City you don’t find a Wal-Mart. We have to distinguish the mall from a multi-storey shopping centre on a high street. That is not technically a mall. When I say a mall, the whole focus is of walking inside a building and once you’re through, you head home. While high street are a key part of a great city whether it’s New York, Singapore, Hong Kong or Tokyo. These are cities where we would love to go to, where we enjoy being there. Oxford Street, London at peak hour is more congested with pedestrians than any street in India, and tourist still want to be there.
Once you build the malls, you take away the high street.The high streets fails because there’s this huge concentration of shopping in one place. People may initially find it very convenient and shop there. But it doesn’t make life interesting.Once you have a huge mall it affects the distribution of shops along the streets of the city and takes away the character and soul of the city.

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About the Author

Surendra Hiranandani is renowned for having crafted one of India’s showpiece township developments- The 300 acre Hiranandani Gardens in Mumbai . Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, and Hiranandani Estate, Thane, are townships with a state of the art infrastructure of concrete roads, regular water supply, effective sewage, electricity and high-tech communication networks. The Hiranandanis have built townships with the foresight of creating communities, through a passionate focus of continually offering social amenities like hospitals, schools, play grounds, gardens, leisure and entertainment facilities. You can log on to www.www.surendrahiranandani.com for more details.