The origins and development of the modern shopping mall

Questions 10–17 are based on the following passage.

Paragraph 1 Today’s shopping mall has as its antecedents historical marketplaces, such as Greek agoras, European piazzas, and Asian bazaars. The purpose of these sites, as with the shopping mall, is both economic and social. People go not only to buy and sell wares, but also to be seen, catch up on news, and be part of the human drama. Both the marketplace and its descendant the mall might also contain restaurants, banks, theaters, and professional offices.

Paragraph 2 The mall is also the product of the creation of suburbs. Although villages outside of cities have existed since antiquity, it was the technological and transportation advances of the 19th century that gave rise to a conscious exodus of the population away from crowded, industrialized cities toward quieter, more rural towns. Since the suburbs typically have no centralized marketplace, shopping centers or malls were designed to fill the needs of the changing community, providing retail stores and services to an increasing suburban population.

Paragraph 3 The shopping mall differs from its ancient counterparts in a number of important ways. While piazzas and bazaars were open-air venues, the modern mall is usually enclosed. Since the suburbs are spread out geographically, shoppers drive to the mall, which means that parking areas must be an integral part of a mall’s design. Ancient marketplaces were often set up in public spaces, but shopping malls are designed, built, and maintained by a separate management firm as a unit. The first shopping mall was built by J. C. Nichols in 1922 near Kansas City, Missouri. The Country Club Plaza was designed to be an automobile-centered plaza, as its patrons drove their own cars to it, rather than take mass transportation as was often the case for city shoppers. It was constructed according to a unified plan, rather than as a random group of stores. Nichols’ company owned and operated the mall, leasing space to a variety of tenants.

Paragraph 4 The first enclosed mall was the Galleria Vittoria Emanuele in Milan, Italy in 1865–77. Inspired by its design, Victor Gruen took the shopping and dining experience of the Galleria to a new level when he created the Southdale Center Mall in 1956. Located in a suburb of Minneapolis, it was intended to be a substitute for the traditional city center. The 95- acre, two-level structure had a constant climate-controlled temperature of 72 degrees, and included shops, restaurants, a school, a post office, and a skating rink. Works of art, decorative lighting, fountains, tropical plants, and flowers were placed throughout the mall. Southdale afforded people the opportunity to experience the pleasures of urban life while protected from the harsh Minnesota weather.

Paragraph 5 In the 1980s, giant megamalls were developed. While Canada has had the distinction of being home to the largest of the megamalls for over twenty years, that honor will soon go to Dubai, where the Mall of Arabia is being completed at a cost of over five billion U.S. dollars. The 5.3 million square foot West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, opened in 1981, with over 800 stores, 110 eating establishments, a hotel, an amusement park, a miniature-golf course, a church, a zoo, and a 438-foot-long lake. Often referred to as the “eighth wonder of the world,” the West Edmonton Mall is the number-one tourist attraction in the area, and will soon be expanded to include more retail space, including a facility for sports, trade shows, and conventions.

Paragraph 6 The largest enclosed megamall in the United States is Bloomington, Minneapolis’s Mall of America, which employs over 12,000 people. It has over five hundred retail stores, an amusement park which includes an indoor roller coaster, a walk-through aquarium, a college,and a wedding chapel. The mall contributes over one billion dollars each year to the economy of the state of Minnesota. Its owners have proposed numerous expansion projects, but have been hampered by safety concerns due to the mall’s proximity to an airport.