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What America's shopping mall decline means for social space

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The mall was America’s third place — for better or for worse. Subscribe to our channel! http://goo.gl/0bsAjO Our lives are lived in 1 of 3 places, the home, the workplace and the “third place,” which is anywhere outside of those two. Toward the end of the 20th century, the regional shopping mall had become that third place, the hang-out spot in suburban America. This was largely by design — an immigrant architect created the first mall in the vision that it would be a community gathering place. The plan didn’t work out as he intended. While malls did take off, they more often than not couldn’t quite catch on as ideal “third places.” But with an estimated 25% of shopping malls expected to close in the next five years, there’s an opportunity to re-examine where Americans spend their time and what could be the next iteration of the third place. Further reading for those interested in this subject, I recommend the following books and articles: Ray Oldenburg's The Great Good Place — he coined the term 'third place' and set the theory for the 8 qualities mentioned in this video: https://www.amazon.com/Great-Good-Place-Bookstores-Community/dp/1569246815 New Yorker's 2006 profile of the creator of regional shopping malls: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2004/03/15/the-terrazzo-jungle On the role US tax policy played in the shopping-center boom of the 1950s and 1960s: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2169635?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents & Vox's Matt Ylgesias on the coming ‘retail apocalypse’ in the states: https://www.vox.com/new-money/2017/5/4/15124038/regional-mall-apocalypse p.s. here is Toto's Africa (playing in an abandoned shopping centre) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D__6hwqjZAs Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out http://www.vox.com. Watch our full video catalog: http://goo.gl/IZONyE Follow Vox on Facebook: http://goo.gl/U2g06o Or Twitter: http://goo.gl/XFrZ5H
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Text Comments (2902)
Vox (9 months ago)
For those wondering about title graphic at :33, it's Cecil Robert's — Toto- Africa (playing in an empty shopping centre)! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D__6hwqjZAs
For those wondering - it's "Southdale" mentioned as the first mall - in Minnesota - where the MegaMall is also. And malls are part of the Geography of Nowhere (book by James Kunstler). Try sitting on the floor in a mall and reading - where the light is nice and bright (you might get threatened with arrest). Or try protesting against all the clothes sold in malls made by young female slaves - then the "shoppers" might get too "scared" or - the mall cops might slash your tires. Welcome to the 3rd place - Corporate-State Open Prisons.
nze (4 months ago)
Why not just convert normal airports into a hybrid airport with mall inside?
SonicSP (6 months ago)
Vox I’ll still choose the first option. I just love malls, at least over in the country where I live. Didn’t really enjoy US malls that much though when I lived there for a few years.
Lunga Mnisi (7 months ago)
Thought it was Sandstorm by Darude
Solunaqua (8 months ago)
Harley Love That ‘random’ video has more views than this one.
jeremy zisman (1 day ago)
Leave the malls alone
cosmic stoner (2 days ago)
Yeah but in my town everytime people find a public place to start hanging out the police show up and make everyone stop socializing and leave because they love harassing teenagers and young adults here in central texas..... smfh. 😡
Kevinb1821 (8 days ago)
https://youtu.be/Rw-T0G6XdWA this story is a direct ripoff of the good stuff channel
Kevinb1821 (8 days ago)
Every damn story is “what you need to know” or “why it matters”
TheCriminalViolin (9 days ago)
This could've been made WAY better honestly. It certainly isn't too bad, but, for the level of well done content you tend to produce, this felt lacking, and, it didn't really flow well.
Keaton Wetzel (10 days ago)
This was my literal thesis top to get my master's degree in city planning if any of you are interested in reading 75 pages about this topic
Wendy Lim (11 days ago)
The malls can be an alienating experience for us who don't have that much money to splurge. I remembered shopping in one of the malls in my younger days in one the big shopping malls in South East Asia and ended up even poorer, more lonely and more unhappy with my life. And the Asian mall culture can be also quite intimidating(i.e. If you happen to meet some rude Asian people from your workplace, it can also turn out to be an uncomfortable experience). So, I think shopping malls does not serve to improve our quality of life unless we have some extra money to splurge or something specific to buy or don't mind the crowds.
Evan Sinc (14 days ago)
Yo did they just play Africa by Toto?
jeremiah sailor (16 days ago)
Make downtowns great again!!!!... a good example is the Claremont village a small hardly known area but a cool “3rd place”.
DansFunMovies (16 days ago)
I wouldn't miss shopping Malls.
Benedetto Zangri (21 days ago)
I think my third place is a local surfer beach on Long Island . I don’t know I have a boogie board can I ride the waves for like six months Of year .
Tom H. (21 days ago)
Who cares? Anyone under 70 is on social media. (Yes, even old fart boomers are on Facebook.)
Charmedone9805 (23 days ago)
malls dont seem to be declining by me at all i think it depends on the area.
jert opp (24 days ago)
There will always be something like Starbucks, bar, hobby shop, etc. To go to.
Weight Loss Ninjas (25 days ago)
I work from home and I've gone weeks without leaving my house. My food is even delivered to me thanks to Green Chef (I talk about this in my channel) and I like it that way.
Agnaye Ochani (25 days ago)
Video about death of malls with a half second soundclip of Africa Top comments about Africa
Lons Cailo (26 days ago)
We need more third places in America that aren't malls! You seriously cannot do anything outside without being expected to spend money, it's sad, and I feel like that's why there are less and less people going outside... We need to feel a sense of community in this country, it feels so lonely and monotonous: work, go home, stay inside on the internet, and repeat... Even parks are empty now a days...
Ivana Malec (26 days ago)
oh wow america discovers public space. cute
Jackson Mancuso (27 days ago)
I think the third place of the mall was too corporate and now that we can, we are pushing it to the digital space in favor of more local and community oriented establishments. Look at Los Angeles, more specifically Venice. The streets there act as shopping market places with each establishment providing a unique yet specific service from cheeses to candles. There are more farmers markets than ever before. Theme park attendance is at all time high. I don't think third places are declining, just shifting
Prince Zaqat (29 days ago)
1 9 v o x w a v e 9 6
Some One (29 days ago)
I like outlet malls ... smaller and everything I need is there. shopping online sux. You never know what you'll end up with...
BronzeChicken (30 days ago)
I don't think all malls will die though, I think some of the midrange malls will yes, but a good few of the higher end ones, most of them, imo that are destinations to go purchase like two or three we have here in Myrtle Beach will thrive for a while due to the simple fact people are social creatures and a fully home and work involved life are no fun. Apps like MeetMe aren't the cure for social interaction either, people are still social creatures, and will always find ways to go out. I figure that'll be what cause amazon and such to plato in coming years. I do think that we as a nation are going through a reshaping, but I don't think that fully online interaction and purchases will be the answer. I do think that shortly, within the next five years, online interactions and purchase per year's growth will plato. Because people will realize they miss going out, and physical malls, stores etc will experience growth due to people just simply wanting to go out.
K (1 month ago)
Some of the re-purposed malls have been turned into apartments, with a handful of shops left in the old food court areas. (Coffee shops, dry cleaner, florist, those kinds of things) Other areas are turned into indoor park areas for the residents to meet and gather. I personally think this is a much better use of the space as opposed to endless big box stores. There's so little to do near where I live and the mall hasn't been enjoyable for me since I started rethinking my consumption habits. I don't want to "hang out" at the mall because I'll just buy things I don't need. Even if you go "mall walking", you're still probably eating at the food court and making one or two purchases.
Madeline Fields Halva (1 month ago)
It certainly doesn't help that the mall where I live is owned by criminals.
Eric Hope (1 month ago)
Malls will be back. Ultimately, they're a good idea: Everything you need in one place. What we are seeing is the popularity of online shopping outdoing in-person shopping. The needle WILL swing the opposite direction eventually, though. Or perhaps I should say it'll normal out. There's a place for malls, and there's a place for online. Like anything in the States/the West, once a formula proves successful, it quickly gets overdone. And that's what's happened with malls: Overkill. All the developers wanted to a quick buck while they could, so they all jumped on the bandwagon, opening malls at a dizzying rate, until there was market saturation. But the gravy train doesn't run forever. There's a new cultural force now (online shopping), so we have to make way for it. Malls will decline, but they won't ever go away (nor should they). The retailers who can adapt to the change best will be the ones who survive.
Rusty Beatty (1 month ago)
Minimum wage didn’t kill the mall higher taxes and stiffer regulations on business did that most of the big retailers like Sears,Montgomery Wards,JC Penny’s,Dillard’s,Toys R Us and others have gone out of business or had to file for bankruptcy and had to restructure their companies witch meant they had to close stores witch most of the small to medium sized malls either closed for good or started dying shortly thereafter because of the loss of these stores and eventually closed their doors within a 2 to 3 years after the loss is the real reason for the large number of malls closing for good and as for minimum wages it didn’t help much to if minimum wage was 10 dollars an hour and taxes were a flat rate of 2.5% percent across the board this might have saved 60% of all malls the that have already closed from having to do so.
Rob (2 months ago)
Really good video with great points.
Joe mariconadas (2 months ago)
So, the mall is a bad idea, because it's about shopping instead of interacting?? HOW EXACTLY is sitting on a couch with a phone texting and messaging on Social media interacting? Yes, the mall is about shopping, but if a mall has the proper facilities, it can be made for interacting as well. Many malls have indoor parks and playgrounds. When I was growing up in the 80's, malls all had playgrounds where kids were definitely making friends, while parents were chit chatting with each other. At least a busy mall is a lot more nice to see than a bunch of young lazy asses sitting at home and texting,.
V42 (2 months ago)
My third place is the gun range
Hugh Tube (2 months ago)
More Mall Culture - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmWTHCHHzZY !
Amristar (2 months ago)
We have plenty of malls in my country. Our malls are not dead. It's still fun to be able to ride to the malls and shop and eat and buy things. We have lots of malls in my country. It's more fun in my country!
Neurotic Sos (2 months ago)
I want more malls to close so we can have cool abandoned malls as third places
pkunkbwok (3 months ago)
I dunno, when I was in high school everybody would turn up at the mall on Friday evening (after dinner if they were gonna eat with their parents that night), to find out what was going on, what people were gonna do, who was having a party, etc etc. and to see people and be seen. It isn't like we couldn't have just used phones to hook up, but I guess the problem with just calling around is that it's deliberate; you have to have some idea of who to get in touch with, whereas if everyone's hanging out in the same place you'll pick up information you weren't actively looking for. Also the mall proper is a lot less proprietary than a Starbucks; if you hang out in a coffee shop for hours without buying anything they'll start giving you dirty looks. Anyway, if you were a kid in the 80s and 90s, the weekend started at the mall. n.n
SuperKing604 (3 months ago)
oh god there are plenty of 3rd places, I like vox but sometimes you guys everything a problem.
Brian Lin (3 months ago)
Gee Speller (3 months ago)
Glad these dumps are gone
Warren Mitchum (3 months ago)
It’s hard to say whether they are for or against malls.
Julio CG (3 months ago)
Literally don't even have a "3rd place," never really did. This is weird and eye opening...
Emmanuel J. Okey I (3 months ago)
Malls tend to be close to other malls in nearby districts. The malls that are more luxurious tend to survive. Another thing is that people would rather drive longer distances to a mall that's further away when they are in the mood to spend money and go to the closer mall just to visit but not really spend.
Jonty Sherson (3 months ago)
my closest mall is close by train and walk or bus but i don't have a train station by me
Len Calimot (3 months ago)
The Mall here in the Philippines never run’s out of people!
Limitless 1 (3 months ago)
This video has an agenda It is subtile But it is there !!!
Gerald Parker (3 months ago)
Churches are an important social space. Many have programmes of various kinds during the week (studies, youth groups, prayer meetings, church banquet socials, etc.) One should take them into consideration.
Wayne (3 months ago)
I thought malls were originally designed to be living communities...
Kenneth Rosario (3 months ago)
I can’t afford to go shopping and pay bills wtf how is this a surprised ????
Alejandro rodriguez (3 months ago)
What i will miss about mall is a the cheap food court.
Jesus Montes (3 months ago)
The malls are the soon to be ghost towns well so long, farewell, goodbye
singergrrl77 (3 months ago)
I definitely support my local coffee shops they are an excellent third-place to foster community conversation and a relaxing wonderful atmosphere where I feel calm and not overstimulated. Great job on this video
Benedict Dela Cruz (3 months ago)
so dep . . . ?
Bipin Maharjan (3 months ago)
more than 3 in 4... what?
Zachery Alderton (3 months ago)
How many years in mall business
thebookofgenises (3 months ago)
anyone else watch this at 2x speed? lol
Kunal Chatterjee (3 months ago)
0:29 I heard you Bongo Cat :3
Joe mariconadas (4 months ago)
Suburbs "lacked quality"? THEN, EXPLAIN!!!! Why did people move to those suburbs IN MASSES. If the city centers were so good, why did they abandon them and moved out?? THEY HAD ENOUGH OF LOW QUALITY OF LIFE. Noise, dirt, ghettos, weirdos, traffic, crime and most of all SPACE. People moved to the suburbs to GET THE QUALITY OF LIFE, with a back yard, having their own house, peace and quiet and not being squeezed like sardines in a tight city environment.
Nate Morey (4 months ago)
It's their own fault, they basically banned young people, now it's coming back to bite them.
Tushar Chowdhury (4 months ago)
Whats a mall
These malls were killing small businesses and now those small businesses are trying to save the malls.
nelson velasqueZ (4 months ago)
You’re crazy if you online shop for clothes, except shoes
Robert Brandywine (3 months ago)
Shoes, socks, underwear, jeans -- I actually buy most of my clothes online now.
David Tran (4 months ago)
Malls will not be able to offset the social and consumer behavioral changes within America. As each year passes by, so will its numbers. Its death is inevitable. The third space the narration speaks of has been replaced by the virtual space. If you have any financial interest in malls, I recommend you get out while you still can.
VJ Rei (4 months ago)
Strip clubs are amazing but expensive.
lp p (4 months ago)
i go to my local mall for some famous wok. it's literally my third place. (i has no friends.)
Zach Z (4 months ago)
There are malls that are reachable by walking and public transportation. Monroeville Mall has bus service, and South Hills Village has nearby light rail service. These two malls are in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA.
Casper Guo (4 months ago)
Just feeling lucky that in Canada we have got these things called the Community Centers
earthminus10 (4 months ago)
Replace them with awesome parks and natural settings for people and Wildlife
Steve Huff (4 months ago)
I don't like the new malls because they don't have an indoor walking space and food court.
00inwiththenew00 (4 months ago)
where do kids go to hang out now that malls have disappeared?
Jade Damboise Rail (4 months ago)
My social place is a gamer club. :3
Daniel Eames (4 months ago)
Sorry, but that is quite a boring video. I’d delete it. I feel for you if you just watched it too.
CzarJuliusIII (4 months ago)
The only malls worth visiting for "social" purposes these days are the mega malls with "Mills" as part of their name. Otherwise most malls are just inconveniences to be in.
William Funes (4 months ago)
I hated the mall as a kid because I never had any money to buy anything. The thrift store on the other hand.....that's where me and some friends went to.
Bodhi KING (4 months ago)
Good third place Church ⛪ Local Bar Gym School(temp) Public Park /Beach Social Club
Robert Brandywine (3 months ago)
Good point.
Partialkonsens (4 months ago)
It's interesting how essential music with plucked strings is to the atmosphere of most of Vox's videos
thatdude da_rrel (4 months ago)
3rd place = skate park
WhYsO SeRiOuSe (4 months ago)
My country Malaysia gonna face the same problem. we have shopping malls in every 10 miles.
Nicholas M (4 months ago)
Skate Parks are the ultimate third places
J Hogue (4 months ago)
Sad, So Sad.😖
flawed1 (4 months ago)
I like how you dismiss the Internet as a third-place simply by saying it “ can affect your mental or even physical health”. You didn’t even bother to say whether that affect was positive or negative. This video is lazy or at best presents information in a biased way ”
Dangasma Elmore (4 months ago)
djwestbrook36 (4 months ago)
Oh I how much I hate the suburb
omirhan (4 months ago)
8:30 am - 5:30 pm long hours
zzrog (4 months ago)
I just went to the mall because we didn't have air conditioning growing up...
Mr Wolfers (4 months ago)
Suburbia is a disease unique to the US and will hopefully be dealt with in the next half century. Until then I'll be enjoying my time in quite literally the rest of the world.
The Tactician (4 months ago)
“Oh no...” is what I would say if I had any friends to go to the mall with.
Charge0Complete (4 months ago)
So, the National Mall is a short walk from Chicago??? What a DUMB example
Adriel Sjahfiedin (4 months ago)
Malls in the U.S. SUUUUUUUUCKS. Indonesia and other Asian countries have incredible malls.
Mitsubishi F-2 (4 months ago)
I have a solution for the US. Be like Ireland and have three to four pubs for each village, plenty of third places!
Hoàng Nguyên (4 months ago)
Yikes. Everyone would be drunk as Phúc. Not to mention that guns are everywhere.
A Fuller (4 months ago)
This is ridiculous, malls are retail developments not third space community centers like the national mall. Malls collapsed due to high rents and predatory leases, check out the traffic at strip malls.
Orion Rodriguez (4 months ago)
During training at Starbucks they mention how they want this to be everyone's "third place" and they say it A LOT.
Tyler Myers (4 months ago)
Vox borders music?
TheRealUnconnected (4 months ago)
You can walk to a mall if you live near the mall. You cant walk to the Nat mall if.you live far from it can you? :/
Peatman (5 months ago)
This video felt very lackluster. The narrator's voice is flat and unconvincing, too many of the visuals are slow motion and the choice of music is too close to uninspired mall muzak to be ironic. I was very interested in the subject from a sociological point of view but eventually I couldn't wait for it to be over.
Jose A (5 months ago)
"Dos Gringos" coffee shop is def not what my community needs.
MrAtlfan21 (5 months ago)
If only we could convert these no longer used malls into centers for the homeless, oh wait that’s not to our immediate economic benefit nvm
JL R (5 months ago)
We used to go to the mall to be seen, now we just open a app to do that
dragsigma (5 months ago)
Talk faster
Alessandro Franzoni (5 months ago)
In Europe we have squares and the city-centers in general
Gpaderna (5 months ago)
We are proud that SM is 'IN' in our country. Without SM, Philippines maybe has the worst 'third place' in the world. We have the 4 malls which are in the Top 10 most biggest malls in the world. But these 4 malls are still have not enough space sometimes, due to our density of the People. Here, in every province only (state) there is 50 malls in average and every cities have 30 malls in average. Share ko lang😂. Pero proud🇵🇭🇵🇭
Myles432 (5 months ago)
I’m good with staying on my phone and being in the internet. I mean it’s got everything am I wrong? Facebook makes you feel bad? I don’t think so.
Myles432 (5 months ago)
I love the quality of these types of videos. Very educational, very informative.👌

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