World of Malls explores a type of building that was invented in the United States nearly 60 years ago and quickly spread throughout the world. Because of urban planning’s increasing orientation toward the automobile, the mall became a substitute for lost urbanism. But what direction is the development of the shopping mall taking today? On the one hand, there continue to be spectacular new openings in America, Asia, the United Arab Emirates and Europe. At the same time, however, many malls are empty, and some are being converted and repurposed.
There is hardly any other building typology that is currently being discussed with such controversy: does the shopping mall mean the death of the city, or does it stimulate its revitalization? In their essays in this volume, urban planners, economists and architectural historians such as Anette Baldauf, Bob Bruegmann, Dietrich Erben, Richard Longstreth, Alain Thierstein, June Williamson and Sophie Wolfrum examine the transformation processes of the shopping mall from the 20th to the 21st century.