Across the U.S., malls are moving outdoors as pedestrian-friendly “city centers”


As the rehabilitation of sprawling communities continues across the country, traditional forms of the suburban built environment are being replaced with new ones. For malls, this means embracing New Urbanist values such as walkability and mixed-use development. Angela Ruggiero reports:

“The concept is “city center” developments. At the heart of each one generally is an Italian-style “piazza” or plaza, surrounded by open-air retail shops and restaurants, with mixed uses of residential units above ground-floor retail, office spaces nearby, hotels, or even theaters.

In the Silicon Valley area, Mountain View’s city center will be completed next year, and Santa Clara’s, approved in June, is going to be so big it will take a decade to build it.

But San Jose’s is the model that everyone can’t help but mention.

On any given sunny day, the light reflects the warm colors of the building facades that sport balconies and stone arches on Santana Row. People stroll, sit and chat on benches, as classical music streams faintly from unseen speakers.”

For the full story, continue reading at The Providence Journal.