“Lifestyle Centers” and expectations of freedom

Andrew Blum excerpts on “lifestyle centers” and public space:

“Lifestyle centers are privately owned space, carefully insulated from the messiness of public life. Desert Ridge, for example, has a rigorous code of conduct, posted beneath its store directory. The list of forbidden activities includes “non-commercial expressive activity”—not to mention “excessive staring” and “taking photos, video or audio recording of any store, product, employee, customer or officer.” “Photos of shopping party with shopping center décor, as a backdrop,” however, are permitted.”
. . .
“There’s something a bit unhealthy about faux public places designed to attract rich people and make them feel comfortable. (At least the traditional mall didn’t try to hide the fact that it was a shopping center.) The lifestyle center is a bizarre outgrowth of the suburban mentality: People want public space, even if making that space private is the only way to get it.”

Read the entire article at slate.com.

One thought on ““Lifestyle Centers” and expectations of freedom

  1. “There’s something a bit unhealthy about faux public places designed to attract rich people and make them feel comfortable.”

    Nonsense. Cant. Conventional thinking. Ugh. “Rich people” have rights, too.

    With the sole exception — and I agree it’s a big issue — that these centers are private property, I think they will evolve nicely. I suspect that when you have residential as part of the place, as some do, it will be impossible, legally &/or practically, for the developers to maintain such tight control.

    But we’ll see, of course. My reaction to “lifestyle centers” — the name aside – is that let’s not be snobbish; they are often actually so much better than the surrounding areas that we should appreciate them.

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