Wide Open Spaces
An urban agglomeration such as Westfield Stratford City is of great interest to the author. Westfield Group is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and has a portfolio of properties with a market value of over £30bn. It is a growing force for change. As a group, it takes projects from planning, funding and concept to completion. It has created striking similar sites across the globe, from East London to Downtown Manhattan. Or FiDi, as New York would have it.
These sites are sites of mass movement: mass trade, and mass transit. The research that the group does works to funnel people in a way that is efficient for the shops and outlets on their sites. The Mall Theory of flagship anchor department stores at the corners if the triangle is adheres to. These sites heave with people, eager to buy, eager to eat. They give us what we appear to want. Shops, of many kinds, under a roof, so we can shop, forever, until we are utterly spent.
The infrastructure required for this is immense: it creates wide open spaces that are good to wander about in, devoid of intent. They are places to be a flaneur. These are our new margins. They exist inside and outside of the new concept if place in the post-commercial (Capitalism won, after all, hands down, as did neo-liberalism). They are our playgrounds. Let us rejoice and spread the Word.