“Shopping malls are private space. They imitate publicness, but the rules are tighter so the space feels cloistered and safe. Parents allow their teenagers to hang at the mall, because they trust security guards to keep the kids out of trouble - mall security in loco parentis. In this sense, the mall offers an immature version of urban life, like a city with training wheels for those who are not quite grown up yet.  A mall is to the city, as Facebook is to the open web.”

On one hand Gray Reads writes about an issue that is an old hat but with her way of looking at things she brings new thoughts in, e.g. by comparing malls and cities with facebook and the web. She speaks openly about “narrow goals” of malls, where the focus is on guiding people to buy something.

"Where can we be full, responsible members of a complete community, free to cruise the street and cruise the web? Where do we find mature architecture that treats us with grace, subtlety, and respect?  Perhaps “only by embracing the complexity of city streets and parks and plazas can buildings and people with many purposes interact with each other on the multiple levels of life.  That’s where design can act fully, humanely, and poetically.  The rest is just advertising."

Fotos – Flickr - © La Citta Vita
Publc spaces in Copenhagen, Denmark (top) and Munich, Germany