DESIGN WITH NATURE AND OPEN SPACE: URBAN
PEDESTRIAN MALLS, URBAN DESIGN PERSPECTIVE
T'ANEFT RECEP OZDIL
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO, COLLEGE OF ARCHITECTURE
& PLANNING, LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DEPARTMENT
DESIGN WITH NATURE AND OPEN SPACE: URBAN PEDESTRIAN
MALLS, URBAN DESIGN PERSPECTIVE
TANER RECEP OZDIL
B.A. UNIVERSITY OF ANKARA, TURKEY, 1992
A THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE DEPARTMENT IN
THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO AT DENVER
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS
FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING
1996 by Taner Recep Ozdil
All rights reserved
For my father and mother,
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter I: Introduction...............................................1
Chapter II: Urban Space in History....................................6
1. Early History of Space Development.................................6
1.1. The Prehistoric Period....................................6
1.2. The Ancient Period........................................7
1.3. The Medieval Period.......................................8
1.4. The Renaissance Period...................................10
1.5. The Baroque Period.......................................12
2. Central City Space in USA.........................................13
2.1. Colonial America.........................................13
2.2. National Period..........................................15
2.3. City Beautiful Movement..................................16
3. Lessons from History..............................................17
Chapter III: Urban Space Typology....................................19
1. Public Space......................................................19
1.1. Urban plaza..............................................20
1.2. Skywalks and Streetscapes................................20
1.3. Pedestrian Malls.........................................21
1.3.1. Full Mall........................................23
1.3.2. Transit Mall.....................................24
1.3.4. Combined Mall....................................26
Chapter IV: Quality of Space in Urban Pedestrian Mall..................28
1. Social Factors......................................................29
1.1 Culture and Theme............................................29
1.2 Human Behavior...............................................31
1.3 Political and Legal Factors..................................34
2. Economic Factors....................................................36
2.1 Before Urban Mall Development................................36
2.1.2 Retail Structure.....................................38
2.1.3 Socioeconomic Structure..............................38
2.2 After Urban Mall Development.................................41
2.2.3 Retail structure.....................................41
3. Design Elements......................................................42
3.1 Scale and Proportion.........................................43
3.2.2 Hard Surface.........................................47
3.2.3 Bollards, Tree Planters and Pots....................48
3.2.4 Fountains, Sculptures, and Landmarks.................48
3.2.7 Shelters, Canopies and Umbrellas.....................52
3.3 Traffic, Parking facilities and Public Transportation........56
Chapter V: Quality of Nature in Urban Pedestrian Mall..................60
1. Climate Control......................................................61
1.2 Solar Radiation..............................................64
2. Environmental Engineering............................................66
2.1 Air and Pollution............................................66
2.2 Sound and Noise..............................................67
2.3 Glare and Reflection.........................................69
3.1 Cost of the Trees............................................71
3.2 Plant Selection..............................................72
3.3 Conditions and Locations.....................................73
Chapter VI: Conclusion: Impact of Nature and Open Space inUrban
1. Quality of an Urban Pedestrian Mall.................................77
2. Quality Urban Environment With a Quality Pedestrian Mall............79
List of Tables
The author wishes to give special thanks to his Thesis advisor Harry L. Garnham,
Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Colorado at Denver,
who served as Director of the Department.
In addition, great appreciation is expressed to the following individuals for their
significant contributions: Bob Brobst and Andrea Stone at the EPA, and Hulya
Ozdil PhD. student at the London School of Economics.
The author wishes to extend a special thanks to Andrea and Robert Stone for
their support and assistance in the research and organization of this study.
This study is about open spaces for pedestrians in urban areas; It is
especially an evaluation of urban pedestrian malls and their value in the down-
town core area as public open space. I believe that open space and nature are
the two main criteria of a public open space in urban areas that needs to be
evaluated. Thats why the main focus of this study is to understand, evaluate,
and improve the factors effecting the quality of open space and nature in urban
pedestrian malls to advance the pedestrian environment in the malls in the USA.
This study also intends to identify the importance of nature and open space in
pedestrian malls. Hence to create better urban form and identity for public
It is nature and open space which we have been part of since the begin-
ning of life. Then, humans passed into communal life because of the threat of
their enemies. They created communities, villages and cities without giving up
their natural environment. They tried to incorporate space first, then nature into
their communities. The Greek agora became a first organized public space.
Then, the others followed to fulfill the need of nature and open space by hu-
mans in the cities.
Urban public open space played a major role in shaping the cities for a
while. Then, open space and nature started to lose its form in urban areas
under the pressure of increasing population, developing cities, and then be-
cause of the industrial revolution. This was an invitation for a new city form with
its speedways, express routes, and high-rises or skyscrapers.
The new city form brought a new option for public open space. Begin-
ning with the Essen, Germany traffic-free zones, pedestrian malls, started to be
an alternative public open space for the cities. They have been widely adopted
in USA cities and in other countries. It seemed to be an easy solution at first
because they were already laid out as a street, and the space was defined. In
some cases, they also had an identity as being a spiritual place, having an
architectural character, or being a center of retail. But are these enough to
attract pedestrians or to meet their expectations from public open space?
So far the US has built more than 200 pedestrian malls during the last
half of the twentieth century starting with Kalamazoo Street in Michigan, in
1959, and this trend still continues. Success rates vary, some of the malls have
never been successful, some of them were successful for a while, and some
still are. Various trends have put a question mark on designers and planners
minds about their existence. I believe that at this point the question should be
how can they be improved to be able to offer a better pedestrian environment?.
Urban Pedestrian malls are the public open spaces of the 20th century
and they are the major part of the whole urban environment scenario. Thats
why their aesthetic and functional futures should reflect the qualities of public
open space. The body of this thesis will answer the questions above to be able
to create better urban pedestrian malls and urban environment in favor of public
uses. The methodology that will be used for the research follows.
To understand and evaluate pedestrian malls as a part of public open
space and nature in the cityscape, first urban space development in history will
be reviewed. Then, the study will focus on USA city space in the last century.
Next, a new city space development will be questioned to understand the typol-
ogy of pedestrian oriented spaces in downtown areas. In this chapter urban
plazas, streetscapes, and pedestrian malls will be explained and the typology of
urban pedestrian malls will be described.
I believe that open space and nature played a major role in designing
pedestrian-friendly malls. In the next two chapters, different factors which play
major roles in the creation of urban pedestrian malls will be examined and
grouped under open space and nature.
Social factors which are mostly related with human and social life such
as culture, theme, human behavior, political and legal factors will be described
and their effect on the quality of open space shown.
Economic factors, before construction of the mall, such as raising money
and after construction of the mall, such as maintenance will be discussed and
their effect on the space will be analyzed.
Design elements such as scale, hardware (signage, kiosk, benches, shel-
ters, etc.), parking, and vegetation as a space-creating element will be ex-
Climate control which consists of precipitation, wind and radiation will be
analyzed and its effect on the urban micro climate will be evaluated. As a part of
the pedestrian experience its importance will be questioned in pedestrian malls.
Environmental engineering which is composed of air quality, reflection,
sound, and noise will be questioned and alternative ways to solve these prob-
lems will be studied.
Vegetation will be examined as part of nature and the suitability of using
xeriscaping will be explored as to its advantages in pedestrian malls. In addi-
tion, factors effecting the plants survival in the mall will be evaluated.
In conclusion, understanding the concept of the pedestrian mall, by means
of looking at it from the point of nature and open space will also effect the con-
cept of open space and nature in the urban fabric. Since introducing nature and
open space into downtown areas has been the goal of the designer, this study
will conclude by explaining this impact and quality which urban malls bring into
URBAN SPACE IN HISTORY
1. Early History of Space Development
1.1 The Prehistoric Period
Space was unidentified and nature was never touched until the exist-
ence of mankind. Adam may be the first person who used nature for human
needs and also the first person, who identified a space by being offered an
apple by Eve under the apple tree. This was the first attack against nature,
unintended, but it was not the last one.
Homo Sapiens seems to be the first intelligent life form, after the glacial
period was over. Then, around 800, 000 BC. humans began to show basic
cultural formations in East Africa. After that they started to explore the land-
scape and migrate to Europe and Asia around 500,000 BC. They hunted and
gathered, and constructed temporary protective space until the first settlements
appeared in Near East around 10,000 BC. Around 4000 BC mankind devel-
oped several ways to use nature for his own good and civilization began in
places like Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and in Egypt.
1.2 The Ancient Period
Around 4000 BC a new form of settled civil life was seen in Mesopotamia
which was located on the rich land between two major rivers; The Tigris and
Euphrates, currently known as the Dicle and Firat, in the middle east. Agricul-
ture played a major role to form the city. Irrigation channels became the layout
of a grid system. The earliest planned landscapes, including gardens, town
space and parks occurred in Mesopotamia during the Sumerian, Assyrian and
Neo-Babylian periods.1 During the same period a similar development occurred
in ancient Egypt along the Nile.
The public space, agora, was shaped in Greece around 700 BC. It was
a centrally located, formal open space which basically functioned as a market
place and center for civic activities. The Greeks used a human scale which is
1.618:1 to relate their cities harmoniously2 with the people living inside. The
works which were done for the Greek agora involved the minimum construction
necessary to articulate the space for mans use, and he said the evolution of the
form of agora integrated with design and the development of Athens as a whole.3
The Greek agora was followed by the Roman forums which were Repub-
lican and Imperial. Republican forum surrounded by independent buildings.
Then, the number of the buildings increased to form the space Imperial forum
composed of several interlocking plazas each created by the succeeding em-
peror. Large open space was formed by the colonnaded sides. They were both
centrally located open spaces which were stages for political actions as well as
functioning as a market place. The Romans took scale one step further from
nature by using architectural proportions instead of human scale. This would
harmoniously relate to part of the building. Through the use of proportion five
types of columns were used. Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite
played a major role in the forum and Roman architecture.4
1.3 The Medieval Period
The Roman empire ended in 476 AD and so did the ancient period.
Increased population became an important consideration in the medieval pe-
riod. This brought new expectations from the cities. People started looking for
larger plazas, streets and theaters for their social and religious activities than
the ones they had in the ancient period. The city inside the walls wasnt large
enough to meet all these needs. So the inner part of the walls were used for
social and civic activities while the outer areas were used for agriculture and
Medieval cities were formed by different levels of streets, landmarks and
market places. Streets played a major role in medieval city space. They were
the way to bring products from the agricultural fields to the market place and
they were a transition from nature to human made open space. The market
place was the major open space in medieval cities. Rotation of the street and
the placement of the towers marked the location of the market place (see figure
Figure 2.1 Campo de Fiore
Source; Landscape Architecture, 1993
The form of the market place was generally created by intersecting
squares. Important buildings were elevated from the base of the market by
stairs. The relationship between the market place and nature or outer space
was defined by the opening at the end of the market place. For example, the
Piazza del Signoria in Florence, and Piazza San Marco in Venice (see figures
1.4 The Renaissance Period
The age of enlightenment started around 1400 AD. The ancient hand-
book of Roman Architecture, Vitruviusde Architectura was discovered.
Brunelleschi identified the laws of perspective and the school of perspective,
was founded in Florence. The human figure was juxtaposed into a sphere and
was considered the center of life and nature.
These new ideas and explorations effected Renaissance architecture
and open space dramatically. Simple geometric forms were used to build highly
complex structures and spaces. Thus, proportion in nature was reflected in
Renaissance open space. The use of perspective helped designers to consider
the third dimension in the design of Plazas. Based on practical experience
proportional ideas started to develop. The relationship of width and length of
the plaza were explored. Statues were placed on heights so that they could be
silhouetted against the sky and different geometric forms were used that could
be combined, according to Sprairegen.5 One of the best examples of Renais-
sance open space is the Campodiglio by Michalengelo, built in 1538 (see figure
Figure 2.4 Campodiglio, Rome
Source; Landscape Architecture, 1993
During the Renaissance, open space didnt play as great role as it did in
the ancient and medieval periods. It was shaped by maximum construction,
just the opposite of the Greek agoras which was the major focus of the cities. It
couldnt tie the city together as well as the medieval market places did because
of the highly crowded and structured city forms. Renaissance open spaces
were basically carved out from the medieval cities. They were healthier and
architecturally better in quality for the public than medieval open spaces. How-
ever, they were weak and limited in comparison to the growth of the whole city
structure and the population.
1.5 The Baroque Period
Around 1600 AD with the beginning of the Baroque period, more open
space with different functions started to be seen in Europe. The Piazza San
Pietro was built in Rome to display the structure of San Pietro. The Piazza
Navona was rebuilt as a big outdoor room above the ancient stadium of Dominan.
Versailles with its town, palace, gardens and parks was redefined by Le Notre
by a system of axis.
Figure 2.5 Trevi Fountain, Rome
The Baroque period witnessed several large open spaces in comparison
to the Renaissance or Medieval period. Nevertheless, these spaces were un-
able to hold the population in overcrowded cities. Open space in this period
mostly functioned for special purposes. Nature and space were used to display
the strength of the structure, a good example of this is Versailles. Nature be-
came mostly a glimpse in the city for public such as fountain or an irregular rock
form(see figure 2.5).
2. Central City Space in America
Organized settled life in America was formed before Columbus discov-
ered America in 1492. It is believed that the first human footprints were put on
the continent of America around 30-40,000 BC. Until their discovery by Euro-
peans, Central America witnessed highly civilized cultures, such as the Mayans
beginning from the 700 BC, the Zepotecs from 600-900 AD, and the Aztecs
around 1300 AD. However, the current city form in North America was influ-
enced by Colonial groups; Such as English, Spanish .French and Dutch after
the 15th. century.
2.1 Colonial America
After the discovery, several European groups migrated and started colo-
nial life in North America. Some of the groups were Portuguese, German, En-
glish, and Spanish. Among these groups, four colonies the Spanish, English,
French and Dutch seriously influenced the city design and planning in the cur-
Spanish colonies settled the area from Tierra del Fuego to San Fran-
cisco, English colonies settled in the Atlantic seaboard, the French settled along
the Mississippi River, the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River and the Dutch
settled along the Hudson River.
These colonies established their cities according to their culture. At the
beginning in the 17th century, English colonies settled randomly and haphaz-
ardly, mostly based on regional factors, such as Boston and Plymouth in
Massacuthetts. Then, because of the influence of the renaissance, the English
settlements applied grid patterns in their towns in the late 17th and in the 18th
centuries. A good example of this is Philadelphia (see figure 2.6). They related
their cites mostly with educational and religious structures. Businesses along
the street were first seen in English colonies in North America, such as
Glouchester Street in Williamsburg. French and Dutch colonial cities showed a
medieval character with narrow streets and dense apartments Hike the early
English colonial cities.
Source; Landscape Architecture,1993
As an urban space the most organized urban development was seen in
the Spanish colonies. They designed their plazas, streets and open spaces
controlled by the Spanish laws of the Indies.
The relation of these settlements with nature occurred out of necessity.
They generally established their cities close to rivers or oceans for transporta-
tion purposes or for a clean water supply. Some cultures such as the Spanish
organized their plazas depending on wind direction and changed the width of
their streets depending on the climate of the area. The French laid out some
part of their streets according to topographic lines. In Dutch settlements there
were yards behind the houses. However, cities in Colonial America and their
open spaces were poorly landscaped. For example, it was rare to see planted
trees in plazas in Spanish settlements.
2.2 National Period
Under the control of the Europeans, colonial life didnt continue past the
late 18th century. The writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1775, and
the ten year war for independence brought new motion into the life of America.
The First city plan for the Nations new Capitol, Washington DC, was done by Le
Enfont in 1771. The term mall also was first applied to this specific open
From the beginning of the 19th century the enlightenment, the result of
the Renaissance in Europe, had a great influence on American life and city
design. Freedom of thought brought a curiosity about science, art, and envi-
ronment. As a result, the wild west opened for settlements. The Grid system
was used to build western towns with one or two main roads. Generally two
public spaces were seen, one in the center of town associated with government
and business and the other at the edge of the town where summer holidays
Main streets started to play an important role in city life in USA. They
were the business centers with theirs shops, entertainment places, rows of
trees around the street, and they were the center of public transportation with
omni-buses drawn by horses.
In the second half of the 19th century romantic landscape started to take
its place in the American Nation, while its big cities were being invaded by people
and buildings. Industrial development created big and complicated cities. The
sky could hardly be seen among the rising buildings and the cables overhead.
Because of this situation designers like Frederic Law Olmstead started to notice
the need for more open space and nature in the city. Large urban parks with
their rural and picturesque characters were created in this period.
2.3 City Beautiful Movement
Major reviews for city planning and design came with the Colombian
Exhibition which was the start of the City Beautiful Movement in Chicago in
1893. During the next decade different projects were created for different cities
starting in Chicago. The Movement brought new alternatives to make cities
livable despite developing technology and increasing population. Designers cre-
ated structures that related to each other and were considered part of the whole
system, civic centers and different civic uses were created in the central city.
However, this movement didnt last long, developing technology came with an-
other invention which was going to control the city life far into the future. The
design of cities and open spaces became determined by cars, while architec-
ture was delineating a third dimension for the cities.
3. Lessons From History
First, nature was the only residence for humankind. Next, cities started
to be formed according to agricultural practices. Then open spaces and plazas
were formed and they effected the design of cities as a whole, such as Athens.
The street played an important role for the public in the design of medieval cities
and their open spaces. Structures were heavily used in and around public space
which limited open space in the cities during the Renaissance and Baroque
periods. Wind and climate were important factors in forming the Spanish cities
in the New World in the 17th century. Then, main streets started to play an
important role because of the focus on entertainment and retail in the 18th and
From the beginning of life until today there has been a major decline in
the use of open space and nature in the cities. The size and the form of public
open space changed dramatically. The importance of open space for the pub-
lie started to diminish in the urban fabric. Plazas, market places, and squares
have gradually shrunk, moreover they have been invaded by structures. Na-
ture and open space only existed on the leftovers of the developing city struc-
tures. As a product of industry, streets and street spaces started to become the
new alternative for public open spaces in cities.
There was a need for a new type of public open space in the newly
developing urban form. Nature and open space quality should be the major
intent of these spaces. At this point the idea of street closure, pedestrian malls,
appeared to be the answer for public life in the city space.
URBAN SPACE TYPOLOGY
1. Public Space
Two world wars, industrialization, and overcrowded cities brought new
perspective for public open space typology in the cities. Wars pushed people
into industrialization. Factories were established due to industrialization. The
building of factories reflected in social life in two ways; one, the need for labor
and work power, and two, the new technology which they offered. This se-
quence made cities economically and socially attractive. This attraction resulted
in migration from the rural areas into cities. Cities became too dense to cover
the basic human needs such as open space or nature. On the other hand, the
public has a great desire for open space they can reach without living in the
peripheries. At this point, new urban public space typologies developed for
downtown areas while the old ones were being reviewed for the new communi-
ties. These are urban plazas, skywalks and streetscapes, and urban pedes-
1.1 Urban Plazas
After agora, forum and the central piazza in the medieval period, urban
open space took one of its current forms, but with different functions, in Ameri-
can cities. The plaza became a public space other than a gathering place for
political or religious events. It became a place where the public spent their time
for eating, sitting, and listening during their lunch hours. The plaza takes its
current form in the new central city as a mostly hard surface outdoor public
space mainly functioning as a place for strolling, eating and watching the world
go by, and as a place where cars are excluded, according to Marcus and
Francis.7 Lynch stated the plaza is an activity focused place at the center of
some intensive urban area enclosed by high-density structures and streets.8
The plaza was also considered as indoor space (galeria, foyer, atrium)
as well as outdoor space. Hence, one of the main functions of the plaza as an
outdoor room has been forgotten.
1.2 Skywalks and Streetscapes
A new issue for an urban open space was raised with the designing of
skyscrapers and high-rises in the urban fabric in the 20th century. One of the
main activities of streetscapes is pedestrian involvement. This involvement is
lost when pedestrians are removed from the sidewalks outdoors and brought
into indoor skywalks. The skywalk was generally considered as an indoor-ori-
ented and climate-controlled walkway systems. They impact negatively on
urban open space and streetscapes because of their:
1. Lack of harmonious design with adjoining buildings,
2. Inadequacies of system wide bridge design,
3. Negative effects on the design at street level,
4. Blocking the vista in the streetscape.9
These negative impacts controlled urban open space and streetscapes
by causing them to function as semi-outdoor rooms which lack of natural envi-
ronment and public activity.
1.3 Pedestrian Malls
One of the last but most common forms of seeking outdoor room came
with street closure in Copenhagen at the beginning of the 20th century. It gave
a new way for the designer and planner to solve the need for open space for the
public because of the croweded city structure. The first street renovation was
designed for pedestrians, as traffic free, in German Essen in 1926.19 This kind
of public space caused great interest in the USA because:
1. It revitalized the downtown area,
2. It gave opportunity for downtown business to compete with suburban shop-
3. It brought pedestrian attraction and movement into the urban area. Thus,
social interaction occurred for the American people who were accustomed to
socialize in the privacy of their own homes.
4. Last and the most important purpose, it created a new type of public open
space that was usable in urban areas.
Table 3.1 Mall Typology in USA
F-Santa Monica CA
F-Miami Beach FL
F = Full Mall
S = Semi Mall
FS = Full & Semi M.
FT = Full & Transit
N = 10
F-Michigan City IN
F-Lake Charles LA
F-Coos Bay OR
S-New London CT
S-Kansas City KS
F-New Bedford MA
FS-Battle Creek Ml
F-E. Lansing Ml
S-Atlantic C. NJ
F-Cape May NJ
F-Las Cruces NM
S-Wilkes Barre PA
F-Oubec City QB
Source: Central City Malls, 1978
At the end of the 1950s the USA experienced its first mall with Kalamazoo
street in Michigan. Until 1978 there were close to one hundred (see table 3.1),until
today there are over 200 pedestrian malls which have been built in the USA.
Different street structures, tradition of the city design, unique individual street
quality, traffic, variety of the ethnic groups, demography and location of the old
business districts brought different requirements for every individual citys pe-
destrian zones. Under this variety of requirements, main typologies were de-
veloped by the flow of the traffic in pedestrian malls in downtown areas. Today
four main typologies are considered if the subject is pedestrian malls:
1.3.1 Full Mall
A full mall is a traffic free pedestrian mall where the former street is des-
ignated exclusively for the pedestrian usage after street closure in downtown
areas. Traffic is mainly forbidden along the linear movement, except emer-
gency traffic such as fire trucks. Cross traffic is mostly restricted for vehicles for
the rights of pedestrians. The design of the mall generally shows a unique
quality itself compared to other parts of the downtown. The design amenities
which full malls carry such as street paving, furnishing, trees, signage etc. play
major role in continuity and the relation of different parts of the mall. Parking
generally is located in adjacent streets at an acceptable distance for the pedes-
trians. Between 1959 and 1978 from the 94 malls built in the USA 77 of them
were built as full malls (see figure 3.1).
Figure 3.1 Pearl Street Mall, Boulder, Colorado
Source; City of Boulder, 1994
1.3.2 Transit Mall
Overcrowded cities and heavy traffic in the central business district cre-
ated a new type of mall in 1970s. A transit mall is a pedestrian zone where
traffic is prohibited except public transportation such as buses, taxis, light rail
and emergency vehicles. Design principles mainly show the same qualities as
the full mall. Since the flow of the traffic is considered, sidewalks are widened.
The parking problem is solved away from the mall like a full mall. One major
difference occurs in the transit mails the length of the mall changed dramati-
cally because of the public traffic. This enable the city to link the activities along
the mall such as shopping, hotels, entertainment. From 1971 to 1977 six transit
malls were built in USA (see figure 3.2).
Figure 3. 2 16th Street Mall, Denver, CO
A semimall is a pedestrian mall where the amount and the function of
traffic is reduced. Generally the number of vehicles is reduced by speed limita-
tions, the number of lanes which are usable by the flowing traffic, and the direc-
tion of the traffic. Design elements generally show the same character and
function as a full and transit mall. Sidewalks are widened for the use of pedes-
trians. Limited parking is generally available along the mall while supporting
parking is located in the adjacent streets. Similar to the transit malls, semimalls
were mostly seen in 1970s when cities started to be too crowded to separate
open space in favor of pedestrians. From 1966 to 1970 two semimalls were
built in the USA while the number was 12 from 1971 to 1977 (see figure 3.3).
Figure 3.3 Larimer Square
Downtown Denver, CO
One block historic district
1.3.4 Combined Malls
These types of malls occurred by combining different mall types because
of the condition and the importance of the street layouts in the central business
district. Between 1971 and 1977 there were four full-semi combined malls built
while one was built for full-transit combined. Fort Collins Malls in Colorado is
one of those. Five block main downtown street was renovated as a Semi Mall
while half block of some intersecting streets kept close to traffic(see figure 3.4).
In addition, one block intersecting street (historical district) was renovated as a
Full Mall at late 1970's (see figure 3.5).
Figure 3.4 College Avenue Semimall, Downtown Fort Collins, CO
Figure 3.5 Historical District Full Mall, Downtown Fort Collins, CO
QUALITY OF SPACE IN URBAN
The pedestrian mall is one of the major open space usage for downtown
areas. The quality of pedestrian malls has clearly increased along with the
publics use of them. Open space is one of the leading factors which attracts
public attention in the urban fabric. Various factors shape the quality of pedes-
trian malls and the urban open space. Certain influencing factors should be
understood and evaluated in urban pedestrian malls to improve urban open
space quality. Space in urban pedestrian malls is defined by three different fac-
tors; social factors, economic factors and design elements. In this chapter these
factors will be defined and their effect on the quality of space will be evaluated.
1. Social Factors
Humans and their relations with other humans are the key factors of
social life. Social life is the combination of human behavior, culture, political
and legal factors. These are the written and unwritten rules of human interac-
tion. These factors enable people to live in a community which is livable, safe,
comfortable, responsible, active and participatory. These are also the main
criteria for building good cities and maintaining the environment.
1.1 Culture and the Theme
Culture is the combination of unwritten rules which are behavior, tradi-
tion, habits, race, religion, and technology. These are the factors in life which
are not as clear as written rules such as laws, however, they play a great role in
human behavior and character during our lifetime. These factors outline the
way we act and how we socialize in the community that we live in. Most of the
time these factors even determine where we live.
Communities are determined by culture. African Americans live with
their own race as do Hispanics. Most of the big cities have one Chinatown with
its unique character. Many orthodox Jewish people live close to their temple so
they can walk instead of driving there. Muslim families live close to each other
so they can act with solidarity. People who cannot drive live close to public
These individual groups identify their own place according to the same
traditions or habits that make them live together. For example traditional Mus-
lim families socialize in their own private open space in the court yard. On the
other hand, Europeans prefer to socialize or interact with other people in the big
outdoor rooms, pedestrian priority spaces, called plazas or malls. Rules for the
US. differ little than other societies. As in Europe, young people in the U.S.
stroll in public open spaces to interact with the opposite sex but technology
enables them greater flexibility to use different spaces during the day. People
around the world spend almost the same amount of time, around 60 minutes,
for their daily trip. The key factor is transportation type. Technology gives Ameri-
cans the opportunity to move around by car while European people do their trip
mostly by public transportation or by walking.
So cities and their open spaces take their character from the culture of
individuals which is part of daily life in these particular spaces. In addition, so do
streets and pedestrian malls. This expression of the character can be vary widely
according to Ramati, even when the same width and style of architecture can
be seen in two different streets, harmonious ranges of colors, textures, materi-
als and similar building heights all can contribute to the feeling of continuity.
The character of a street is shaped by the people who live and work there and
how they actually use it.11
Pedestrian malls should be the reflection of a culture with its unique quality
about understanding space. The design of the space should mark its own char-
acter which could be called unique quality (genius loci)12, or the spirit of place or
theme. A good example is one of the newest (started in 1995) pedestrian malls,
in Overtown, Miamis historic black district. The designer used African kente
weaving in its paving and it is framed by existing ficus trees and a group of palm
trees symbolizing, obscurely, the progress of black people in new the world.13
This enables the mall design to interact with the culture.
Consequently, the unique character of the place (genius loci) the spirit
of the place, or the theme, are the factors in the pedestrian mall which are
identified by behavior, tradition,habits, religion, race (ethnic flavor), and even
technology. Culture is one of the main factors which defines the success of
pedestrian malls and the quality of space.
1.2 Human Behavior
Humans, and their physical and psychological expectation, individually
from daily life or from their reaction to daily life, draw certain characters into their
actions. These individual actions are a set of rules for every individual mostly
influenced by culture and outlined by the laws. Human behaviors are the rules
of individuals, behaved consciously or unconsciously, whether written or unwrit-
ten. It is more likely a sign of comfort for people in the environment in which
they participate (see figure 4.1).
Pedestrians show different degrees of comfort depending on the dis-
tance between them and other individuals. The amount of interpersonal dis-
tance is determined by the type of relationship (See table 4.1). Relations are
considered intimate in short distance (less than 1.5 feet), while it is considered
public when the interpersonal distance is long (more than 12 feet).In addition,
the space between individuals is identified by the flexibility of the circulation
(see table 4.2). For example, if the distance among people is more than 4 feet,
circulation is possible without disturbing them, while if the distance is under two
feet they feel jammed and restricted.
Figure 4.1 Sitting behavior
Source; People's Place,1990
Table 4.1 Interpersonal distances
Distance, face to face Area required per person
feet (m) sq. feet (sq.m)
Intimate Less than 1.5 (0.5) Less than 3 sq. ft (0.3)
Personal 1.5-4 (0.5-1.2) 3-13 sq. ft (0.3-1.2)
Social 4-12 (1.2-3.7) 13-110 sq. ft (1.2-10)
Public More than 12 More thanllOsq. ft (1)
Source; Urban Space for pedestrians, 1975
Intended or unintended changes in the interpersonal distance effects the
feelings of freedom or restriction, privacy or publicity, danger or safety in human
behavior. The public space that is carrying a variety of space quality for variety
of human needs gives pedestrian more opportunity to enjoy his participation.
So according to Lynch and Rivkin, things making people physically comfortable
and uncomfortable affect the open spaces and malls. The more time a pedes-
trian spends avoiding potential obstacles and danger the less time remains for
enjoying the pedestrian experience.14
Table 4.2 Levels of service for standing pedestrians
Qualities Spacing Area per person Description
ft (m) sq.ft (sq. m)
Unimpeded over 4 (1.2) over 13 (1.2) Circulation between pedestrian is possible without disturbing them.
Impeded 3.5-4 (1.0-1.2) 10-13 (0.9-1.2) Circulation between standing pedestrians is somewhat restricted.
3.0-3.5 7-10 (0.7-0.9) Comfortable for standing without being affected by others, but walking between standees possible only by disturbing them ("excuse me").
Constrained 2-3 (0.6-0.9) 3-7 (0.3-0.7) Standing pedests. do not touch each other but are uncomfortably close together, circulation through the group is severely restricted, and forward movement is possible only as a qroup.
Congested Under 2 (0.6) 2-3 (0.2-0.3) Contact with others is unavoidable, circulation through the group is impossible.
Jammed 0 Under 2 (0.2) Standees are pressed together, no movement is possible.
Source; Urban Space for Pedestrians, 1975
Consequently people and their behavior requires certain qualities from
the space. These qualities effect peoples participation in the public space. The
pedestrian mall which takes into account this variety of qualities allows people
feel safe, comfortable, and free in the public open space. As Frank Lloyd Wright
said, human nature is the primary building material.
1.3 Political and Legal Factors
The urban pedestrian mall is a design and planning process which re-
quires some political and legal action before, during and after development.
Even though urban pedestrian malls are generally located in downtown core
areas, they only include one main street and are not more than 15 blocks long
(in most cases under 10 blocks). Still, they require decisions which have to be
made for the whole downtown area, even for the whole city.
These decisions are generally made by the people or groups who will
profit or lose from this design and planning. The public votes and has commu-
nity meetings for whether they support the mall idea or not (Denver voted for
their mall in 1975). Private owners evaluate the malls vitality from their per-
spective. The mayor and the city planning community evaluate the location of
the mall, the degree of street closure (right-of-way), zoning regulations, and the
malls vitality. Even the state highway department plays a role at the street
closure because a city road is part of a state road.15
All these political and legal factors or decisions effect the quality of the
space in an urban pedestrian mall. One such factor is zoning which is the most
important space regulation in the city.
Zoning controls the bulk and height of the building, land use, setbacks,
off-street parking, permitted uses, and regulations for restricted land use regu-
lations which are directly related to the space which is surrounding the pedes-
trian mall.16 For example, one aspect of zoning is setback, which is defined as
minimum distance from the property line, and the other aspect is the height of
the building, which allows adequate light, air, visual quality at street level in the
pedestrian mall (see figures 4.2,3). Another aspect is Floor area Ratio (FAR) or
Premium which can become a deal subject between private owners and the city
whether built a pedestrian malls or not. This can also directly effect open space
quality in the mall. One such deal was offered by the City of Denver to Private
owners when developing 16th. street, was extra floor area.17
Laige unbroken expanses
oi wall area make a
building appear bulky
and overly imposing to
the street-level pedestrian.
Varying building height
and setback and estab-
lishing lower scale adja-
cent to pedestrian areas
reduce the appearance ol
Figure 4.2,3 Setback and street level open space
Source; The Urban Design Process, 1985
As a result, political and legal factors or decisions give a clear descrip-
tion of written rules for the space quality in urban pedestrian mall. Even though
open space seems to benefit the public, these rules mostly support and ben-
efit private or retail owners along the mall. While space is trying to be gained on
street level by the zoning regulations in favor of pedestrians, users are deprived
of the quality of the space because of the deficiency of air, light, openness and
2. Economic Factors
Not long ago in the 1960s, there was a new development, suburbs with
their shopping malls. They became a strong alternative for the customer. People
prefer to do their trading in the suburban shopping malls because they are close
to residential areas, easy to park in, everything is under same the roof with
controlled climate, and a comfortable pedestrian environment. However, down-
town, the center of retail for centuries, couldnt offer same qualities until the
pedestrian mall idea became a fashion for American towns and cities. Declined
retail and the quality of pedestrian environments in downtown started to im-
prove with pedestrian malls. This idea became a model for revitalizing down-
town areas for a couple of decades and then slowed down. During this period
economy become a major regulator for American pedestrian malls from their
beginnings of the construction to the end of the mall.
2.1 Before Urban Pedestrian Mall Development
Before the urban pedestrian mall turns into a reality, three major eco-
nomic activities control and effect the design process and the construction of
malls. These factors are also the ones which effect the quality of the space
dramatically before and during establishment.
Depending on who is going to make the profit, money can be found from
many different sources to build a pedestrian mall(see table 4.3). For example,
several sectors can be the source of money: to improve business, from retail
owners; for raising the property value, from property owners; for increasing the
quality of the pedestrian environment, from city and public sources; or for coor-
dinating transportation, from the urban mass transportation administration con-
The source and the amount of funding changes the quality of space in
pedestrian malls. The source supporting the mall plan will ask for the maximum
benefit for its own good. For example, the Regional Transportation District (RTD)
was the main support of the Denver 16th street mall construction after 1975.
They wanted to connect two public transport transfer stations, therefore RTD
played major role in shaping the space as a transit mall. The amount of the
money is the other area which shapes the space. The more money that is spent
for the mall, the better quality in the design and construction for the pedestrian
environment (see figure 4.4).
Figure 4.4 RTD Civic Center Station, 16th St. Mall, Denver
2.1.2 Retail Structure
The capacity and the variety of retailers in the street effects the economy
in the beginning of the construction of the mall, so does the space quality. Ac-
cording to Rubistein in relation to the volume of the business taking place on the
mall, the size and the cost of the mall must be realistic.18 Volume and the variety
of the businesses effect the number of users. So the space will be shaped de-
pending on the amount of people who are going to use the mall. For example,
everyday almost 90,000 people (most of them office workers) use the Denver
16th street mall, this use requires a certain amount of parking and also a variety
of places for lunch.
2.1.3 Socioeconomic Structure
Income levels and the purchasing power of the users in the trade area is
another economic factor which effects the quality in pedestrian malls. Because
of their ability to attract to people in the mall, certain things are offered in favor of
the user during the design process. For example, to attract a low income stu-
dent population (which is the main part of the population in Boulder) into the
Pearl street mall, there is a tendency to allow more opportunity to hang around
and be entertained without spending too much money, unlike the Denver 16th
street mall where there are less oppurtunities for similar activities.
Table 4.3 Catalogue of Central City Malls
Type & location Funding type Blocks Cost Sales Increase
F-Fresno CA Assessment district & private 6 1,600,000 Yes leveled off
FS-Pomona CA Improvement district & city 9 682,000 Yes
F-Santa Monica CA Assestment district & city 3 675,550 Yes
F-Miami Beach FL Municipal bonds 8 600,000 Yes
F-Atchison KS City & Urban renewal 2.5 3,600,000 Yes
F-Jackson Ml Local contributor 3 80,000 No
F-Kalamazoo Ml Assessment district 2 82,348 Yes
F-Providence Rl City, federal, & private 6 530,000 N.A.
F-Knoxville TN City & Private 1 313,000 Yes
F-Dallas TX City 1 110,000 N.A.
F-Burbank CA Assessment district & private 6 964,000 Yes
F-Oxnard CA Urban Renewal 3 653,000 Yes
F-Riverside CA City assessment & private funds 4 730,107 Yes, then down
F-Sacramento CA Assessment district & federal 9 3,600,000 N.A.
F-Honolulu HA Priv.,bord of water sup..city S co. 6 2,766,450 Yes
F-Centralia IL Special assessment 1 33,955 N.A.
F-Danville IL Assessment district and city 2 112,000 Yes
S-Decatur IL Special assessment 3.5 530,000 N.A.
F-Freeport IL Assessment owners & merch., priv. 2 120,000 N.A.
F-Michigan City IN Assessment district 4 494,000 Yes
F-Lake Charles LA Assessment district, city, private 4 650,000 N.A.
F-Salisbury MD City and merchants 2 165,000 N.A.
T-Minneapolis MN Federal & assessment 8 3,875,000 Yes
F-Winona MN Assessment & donations 3 225,000 N.A.
F-Lincoln NB City, assessment, private, federal 7 603,775 N.A.
F-Lebanon NH Urban renewal & city 1 450,000 Yes
F-Coos Bay OR Assessment & urban renewal 3 2,000,000 Yes
F-Galvaston TX City & assessment 2 160,000 N.A.
F-Ottowa ON Assessment & city 3 636,000 Yes
F-Napa CA Federal & neighbrhd. development 3 653,000 Yes
F-Redding CA Federal & local 2.5 1,600,000 Yes
F-Redlands CA N.A. 6 N.A. Yes
S-New London CT Urb. reneval&New L. assoc, .state 6 1,426,209 N.A.
F-Wilmington DE City bonds 6 1,500,000 Yes
F-Washington DC Urban renewal 1 6,300,000 N.A.
S-Tampa FL City, federal and donations 5 533,000 Yes
F-Toccoa GA Urban renewal & city 1 1,800,000 Yes
F-Rockford IL Urban renewal & merchants 4 890,000 No
F-Springfield IL Assessment & city 3 565,000 Yes
F-Evansville IN City, assesst. district, & federal 7 1,000,000 Yes
F-Richmond IN Urban renewal & merchants 4 750,000 Yes
FS-Burlington IA Community & neighborhood devlpt. 2 3,000,000 N.A.
F-Dubuque IA Federal & local 8 1,400,000 N.A.
S-Kansas City KS Urban renewal & city 3 2,300,000 No
F-Parsons KS Federal & local 4 850,000 Yes
F-Frankfort KY Federal neiqhborhood development 1 325,000 No
F-Louisville KY Assessment, urb. renewal & bonds 3 1,713,000 Yes
F-Portland ME Federal & city 5 2,225,000 N.A.
F-Baltimore MD City(Lexinqton mall) 2 800,000 Yes
F-Baltimore MD Urban renewal & community dvlpt. 2 2,600,000 N.A.
F-New Bedford MA Revenue sharinq & private 3 495,000 N.A.
F-Newburyport MA Fed. hiqhway, urb. renewal, & state 4 2,500,000 Yes
F-Salem MA Urban renewal 4 1,000,000 N.A.
FS-Battle Creek Ml Special assessment & local 4 2,000,000 Yes
F-E. Lansinq Ml City, utilities, and merchants 2 312,000 N.A.
F-Lansinq Ml Urban renewal 3 850,000 N.A.
F-Helena MT Urban renewal 4 417,414 N.A.
S-Atlantic C. NJ Private 0.5 1,500,000 Yes
F-Cape May NJ Urban renewal 3 1,500,000 Yes
F-Paterson NJ Urban renewal 1 568,000 N.A.
F-Trenton NJ City, federal, state, & assessment 2 1,800,000 Leveled off
F-Las Cruces NM Urban renewal & city 7 1,200,000 N.A.
F-Auburn NY Community development 1 170,000 N.A.
F-lthaca NY City assessment 3 1,130,000 Yes
F-Pouqhkepsie NY Urban renewal, city and state 3 3,200,000 Leveled off
T-Greenville NC Urban renewal 2 425,000 Yes
F-Monroe NC Urban renewal & local 3 280,000 N.A.
F-Raleiqh NC Downt. tax dist., city, county, state 3.5 2,000,000 N.A.
F-Winston-SalemNC Urban renewal & city 8 1,500,000 Yes
F-Middletown OH Fed. neiqhborhood development 2 6,000,000 N.A.
F-Painesville OH Street improvement utilities funds 1 143,035 No
F-Younqstown OH Bonds by city 3 1,832,700 N.A.
F-Euqene OR Urban renewal & city 5 1,350,000 N.A.
T-Portland OR Urban mass trans. administ, tri-met 22 15,000,000 Yes
S-Allentown PA State & bonds 4 5,000,000 Yes
T-Erie PA Federal, state, & city 4 1,600,000 N.A.
F-Philadelphia PA Urb. mass transport, administration. 12 7,400,000 N.A
T-Philadelphia PA Urban renewal, city redevelopment 2 500,000 Yes
FT-Pittsburqh PA Fed. & local community developmt. 14 3,585,000 Yes
F-Pottsville PA State, community affairs, city 7 1,250,000 N.A.
FS-Readinq PA State, city, assessment, & county 2 1,600,000 N.A.
S-Scranton PA Com. devlpt., economic dvlp admnst. 1 862,000 N.A.
S-Wilkes Barre PA Federal & state 2 2,300,000 N.A.
FS-Williamsport PA Special assessment district 2 1,500,000 N.A.
F-Greenville SC Urban renewal & private 1 274,000 Yes
F-Spartanburq SC General revenue sharinq funds 2 750,000 N.A.
F-Memphis TN Tax assessment 12 6,000,000 N.A.
S-Dallas TX City, capital improvements bonds 3 890,000 N.A.
F-Charlottesville VA City capital improvement & assest. 5 2,000,000 Yes
F-Seatle WA City & federal 2 750,000 N.A.
F-Tacoma WA Urban renewal 2 1,500,000 Yes
F-Sheboyqan Wl Urban renewal & local 3.5 1,600,000 Yes
F-Quebec City QB City, federal, provincial 5 4,700,000 Yes
T-Vancouver BC Property owners, fed., city, utilities 6 2,947,000 N.A.
F = Full Mall S = Semi Mall FS = Full & Semi M. FT = Full & Transh
Source; Central City Malls, 1978
2.2 After Urban Pedestrian Mall Development
Finding the necessary money, designing the mall and constructing it arent
the only economic factors effecting the space quality in the mall. It is a system
which needs to be stable, alive, and keep running for the benefit of retail as
much as for that of the Public. Thats why three factors based on economy
should be understood and their function in the space should be evaluated.
Management includes a wide range of economic activities which need to
be organized to keep up the space quality in the mall. These activities are,
scheduling street activities, soliciting publicity through media, supervising tem-
porary construction, monitoring government and finding other sources for fea-
To keep the space working, maintainence is required for pedestrian malls.
This covers a variety of economic activity and the efforts to make the space as
attractive and functional as it was on the opening day of the mall. For example,
cleaning and renewing the street and furniture, replacing the burnrd out light
bulbs, moving the chairs, preparing the seasonal flower beds, transplanting new
trees and etc.
2.2.3 Retail Structure
The number of the businesses and their variety is necessary to the space
quality after development. Well done pedestrian environments and the variety
of retail brings the economic success which is the only factor keeping busi-
nesses alive in the malls. Otherwise businesses stay away from the mall which
means vacancy (see table 4.4). That means more dead spots and less window
shopping for the mall users. Thats why management or the city should support
the new types of retailers which will make the space functional and attractive for
users. As an example, at least six clothing businesses closed in the 16th street
mall during 1995. Mall management should support sidewalk cafes and food
courts for the office workers, who are offen the main users of the mall, to make
the space alive.
Table 4.4 Vacancy rate
City Total units available-a Vacancies-b Vacancy rate
Denver, CO 91 4 4.6%
Madison, Wl 148 5 3.4%
Minneapolis, MN 74 5 6.8%
Providence, Rl 55 9 16.4%
St. Cloud, MN 35 5 14.3%
Santa Cruz, CA 107 1 0.9%
Total 510 29 5.7%
a. Includes all existing establishments plus all vacancies.
b. Surface parking lots are counted as vacansies.
Note: Number of vacansies are based on an inventory conducted durinq summer and fall
Source; APA Journal, 1993
3. Design Elements
Even though social and economic factors are the ones which draw the
frame of the mall before the construction process begins, the designer and the
planner have an important flexibility in this frame to lay out their decisions. These
decisions include design elements as much as social and economic factors.
The pedestrian mall environment is a combination of design elements which
regulate or shape the space in favor of its varied users.
3.1 Scale and Proportion
Even if a pedestrian mall is not a square, plaza, or park, it is public space
which requires certain qualities that make it a place for public usage. Scale and
proportion are two of these important design elements. These are the ingredi-
ents for the mall which make the space physically comfortable and safe, easy to
move around in, and visually attractive for individuals as well as for groups.
As a space, a great street is defined in two ways, horizontally, which has
most to do with the length of and the spacing between buildings, walls, and
trees, and vertically which has to do with the height of whatever is doing the
defining along the street, according to Jacobs.19 The pedestrian mall has cre-
ated a new type of usage which has brought alternatives to part of downtown
streets From this point it is possible to define space quality in the mall with its
height, length, width and their ratio to each other.
The height and the width ratio is an important factor for space quality in
malls. Height surrounding the street has a major effect on defining the mall as
a space. For example, according to Jacobs buildings along streets provide a
sense of definition when the height to horizontal distances ratios are at least
1:4, with the viewer looking at a 30 degree angle to the right or left of the direc-
tion of the street and the height of the building along the best street is less than
100 feet (see figure 4.5).20 The distance between buildings is the other prob-
lem for space quality. If the space between buildings gets larger, it will be hard
to perceive the open space in the mall (see figure 4.6). The length of the space
will effect the pedestrian experience. The longer a mall gets the less the pedes-
trian will experience.
Figure 4.5 (Left)Perceiving space in the street
Figure 4.6 (Right) Building spacing
Source; Great Streets, 1995
Most of the time pedestrian malls are not part of an original main down-
town plan they are a secondary plan or a design solution which has brought an
alternative to the not working downtown street. Thats why it is almost impos-
sible to change the proportion or scale in the street for a proposed mall unless
they have been laid out on one of the great streets or planned as part of the
original plan of the city. However, it is possible to control the scale and the
proportion in the future developments of the mall with the regulation of zoning
and through design guidelines.
The only effective solution to control scale and proportion for future con-
struction is to use zoning regulations and design guidelines. New zoning rules
will control the distance between buildings with set back regulations and the
height of the building with the bulk rate. Design guidelines also refer to similar
problems. For example, Denvers 16th street design guidelines force new con-
struction height to be related to the scale of existing buildings in the mall, and
it forces new construction, especially in high-rise portions to be set back from
the street so that as much sunlight as possible can reach the street to preserve
the feeling of openness.
Hardware is the other element that has to be considered by the designer
to shape the mall and the urban space to give variety of opportunities to their
users. Hardware is one of the main elements of the pedestrian mall and the
urban landscape which give design continuity, visual quality, and variety of open
space to the mall as well as to the urban environment. Thats why hardware
should be designed and chosen carefully for specific locations as well as for the
whole downtown area. Both the esthetic and functional qualities of street furni-
ture in the pedestrian mall are directly related to forming the variety of space in
different qualities giving variety of options to its users.
Signs are the main directors of pedestrian and traffic circulation. Their
location, size, style, and color have an important effect on the esthetic quality of
the pedestrian experience in an urban mall. If they are poorly designed they
may be a pollutant to the space rather than being part of the whole design.
Thats why they should be thoughtfully designed and controlled in favor of space
Signs vary according to the purpose they serve, so do their size and
location (see figures 4.7,8). If they are sized and coordinated wrong they may
prevent circulation and the view of architectural details, or destroy the vista.
Thats why they should be located and sized in a position where they best serve
the user and integrate with the urban mall.
The style and the color of signs is the other issue effecting the space
quality in the mall. The lettering style or sign style and the colors will support
the character of the space and establish harmony among the signs as well as
with the other design elements in the space. For example, in Vail, Colorado the
style of the signs is controlled to give the image of a Swiss village.
3.2.2 Hard Surface
Paving, tree grates, sewer grates and manhole grates basically com-
pose the hard surface in a pedestrian mall. Their scale, texture, pattern, color,
and material have an important effect on quality of a specific location as well as
to the overall design. The variety of material, color and patterns used in paving
helps the user separate the usages, find a sense of direction, and perceive a
sense of space. Again the use of specific colors or material, similar pattern or
the style in the grates and the paving will support the character of the overall
design in the urban an pedestrian mall. In addition, the construction and the
material quality of the surface will offer the pedestrian a trip which is safe and
comfortable experience without any obstacles (see figures 4.9,10).
Figure 4.9 (Left)Three different paving prevents continuity, Fort Collins Mall.
Figure 4.10 (Right) Small tree grate will effect plants growth in Denver Mall.
3.2.3 Bollards, Tree Planters, and Pots
Similar to other street furniture, scale, texture, color, the style and mate-
rial of bollards, tree planters and pots have an important effect on the overall
design quality. Bollards, tree planters and pots also have a great impact on the
mall by bringing a natural atmosphere to it. In addition to all of these aesthetic
qualities, they are the elements of the mall in human scale which is limiting,
directing and separating human activities. Thats why their barrier functions should
be considered by the designer as well as their esthetic qualities. Hence, the
use of these design elements, choosing them, and locating them properly by
the designer in the mall will give the users different quality of spaces for different
activities and uses (see figures 4.11,12).
Figure 4.1(L) Bollards seperates two different pedestrian activity, Boulder Mall
Figure 4.12(R) Planters cause obstruction in pedestrian circulation, Boulder Mall
3.2.4 Fountains, Sculptures, Clocks, and Landmarks
Fountains, sculptures, clocks and landmarks are the irreplaceable at-
traction elements of the public spaces. They give an identity to the place, like
the D&F Tower in Denver, or the sculpture and the fountain in the Ghiradeli
Square. Thats why they are required elements in a public space. They often
generate the attraction for special interest groups such as tourists, artists or
students and are a gathering and meeting place for the public. Thats why their
use should be considered in appropriate places in urban pedestrian malls to
create different quality spaces to attract people. For example, fountains or wa-
ter elements should be proposed for the downtown malls that are far from the
sea such as Boulders Pearl Street Mall. In addition, their scale, proportion,
style, and material quality should enable overall design unique character, and
sense of space (see figures 4.11).
Figures 4.13 Fort Collins Mall shows rich collection of sculpture & fountains.
Overall pedestrian mall lighting is a combination of street lighting, com-
mercial lighting, and the lighting for design details planned and designed by the
landscape architects, architects, urban designers and electrical engineers. They
vary depending on the purpose that they are used for. Street lighting includes
traffic lights, lights for cars and pedestrian circulation. Commercial lighting in-
cludes indoor lighting, windows and commercial signs lighting. Design detail
for lighting includes lighting for historical or new structures with a unique design
character, fountains, sculptures or trees. Their quality brings public interest to
the urban pedestrian mall. Thats why they are advantageous for urban open
They are a safety and security issue for the pedestrians and for the cars by
illuminating details and informing them.
They give a 24 hour experience opportunity to the mall users such as for
They enable special interest and attraction points for night time visitors.
They support overall design continuity and the character of the mall by their
style and material quality.
Because of the reasons mentioned above, the strength of the illumina-
tion, location of the armatures, styles of the pools, and the material quality should
be seriously considered by the designer to give the space quality. Key locations
such as dead spots, corners, shelters, parking facilities, and short distance vista
points, should be illuminated with strong armatures. Public transportation stops
and the parking areas far from mall should be connected with the same quality
of lighting used for the mall for esthetic and safety reasons. Fountains, sculp-
tures, commercial indoor and window lighting should be used along the mall to
give visitors a safe, secure, interesting environment that they can use, enjoy
and be entertained in 24 hours a day rather than having to deal with obstacles
(see figure 4.14).
Figure 4.14 Different armatures from Boulder, Fort Collins, Denver Malls.
Benches, walls, stones, ledges, steps, and planters are the stable seat-
ing elements of the urban mall, and chairs are the moveable seating elements.
Similar to all other street furniture, their placement, material, and style, have an
important effect on the space quality. Their individual design quality also effect
human comfort. They should be located in places in the mall where they do not
prevent major circulation, and where they provide different character of spaces
along the mall. They should give the answer to a variety of human needs and
behavior in the mall, from the need for personal private space to group space, to
form the public interest. Their style and material quality should provide design
continuity and aesthetic quality in the overall design. Because of the flexibility
that they give to the user to create their own spaces, moveable seating ele-
ments should be considered by the designer as long as maintenance is pro-
vided (see figure 4.15).
Figure 4.15 Different sitting options in Colarado malls.
3.2.7 Shelters, Canopies and Umbrellas
These are the design elements which enable the pedestrian to have a
protective climate, or an enclosed open space in downtown area. They vary
according to the purpose for which they are used, plus their material, size, style
and aesthetic quality (see figures 4.16). While their overall quality and place-
ment have an important effect on design continuity, open vista and pedestrian
circulation, the quality of the individual elements play an important role in creat-
ing safe, attractive, protected, functional enclosed spaces. Thats why instead
of using prefabricated elements, these elements should be designed with proper
materials depending on the conditions at the site.
Figures 4.16 Shelters, Canopies and Umbrellas in Colarado Malls.
Shelters should be designed and their material should be chosen depending
on the conditions at the proposed spot and the climate effecting the mall
environment. They should have side covers to separate the different func-
tions of spaces and to provide protection from wind, and precipitation. These
side covers should be made of transparent material to allow visibility for
safety reasons. Their overall size and style should be considered to create
harmony with the other elements of the mall.
Canopies should provide shade and give protection from precipitation for
the users. Their length, and width should be standardized in each mall to
provide an open vista. Roof canopies should also bring the side develop-
ment under it, if the store is cafeteria or restaurant tables cover part of the
side walk, or if it is a gift store counter. These space uses also should be
standardized to allow the pedestrian comfortable circulation.
Umbrellas should be the choice as a protection element for small seating
locations and for temporary use.
Telephones booths, kiosks, trash containers, drinking fountains,
restrooms, food stands, mail boxes, and paper boxes are the necassary facili-
ties in an urban open space. Their existence along the mall is needed because
of the functions that they offer in favor of pedestrians. However, unless their
material quality, size, number, scale, and placement is considered carefully they
may cause problems that may damage the space quality rather than making the
pedestrians progress easier. Thats why they should be located along the mall
in places that are visible, near the node pedestrian points where they dont
prevent circulation. They should be designed with similar materials as the other
design elements to establish design continuity and harmony rather than forming
visual pollution in the open space of the mall (see figures 4.17).
Figures 4.17 Some facilities in Colarado malls.
Table 4.5 Sidewalk obstructions to pedestrian flow
Obstructions ft Approximate walkway width preemted (Bid.to edge of obi.) Obstructions
I. Street furniture 6. Temporary obstructions
Light poles 2.5-3.5
Traffic signal poles &boxes 3.0-4.0 Excavations
Fire alarm boxes 2.5-3.5 Stored materials and rubbish
Fire hydrants 2.5-3.0 Construction eguipement
Traffic signs 2.0-2.5 Scaffolding
Parking meters 2.0 Ice
Mail boxes 3.2-3.7 (1.7x1.7 dimension) Snow
Telephone booths 4.0 (2.7x2.7 dimensions) Puddles
Waste baskets 3.0 (1.8 diameter) 7. Moving Obstecles
Benches 5.0 Vehicles(crossing walkways)
2. Public undergrd. access Queues ( bus stops)
Subway stairways 5.5-7.0 Window shoppers
Subway ventilation gratings 6.0+ Crowds ( shows, hawkers)
Transformer vault vent. grt. 6.0+ Loiterers
Skylights for sub. stations Wheelchairs, baby carriages e
3. Landscaping Trees 3.0-4.0 (5.0-6.0pavement cut)
Planting boxes 5.0 (3.7 diameter)
4. Commercial Uses Newstands 4.0-13.0
Vending stands (fruit, etc.) varable
Advertising displays variable
Store displays variable
Sidewalk cafes variable say 7.0 (2 rows table)
5. Building Protrusions Columns 2.5-x2.5 to 3.0x3.0 dimention
Cellar doors 5.0-7.0
Standpipe connections 1.0
Awning poles 2.5
Trucking docks (trocks protruding)
Garage entrances (cars entering and exiting)
Driveways (cars entering and exiting)
Source; Urban space for Pedestrians, 1975
3.3 Traffic, Parking Facilities and Public Transportation
The design of the pedestrian mall in downtown areas is not complete by
only closing a couple blocks of street and designing the inside to be pedestrian
friendly. It includes design decisions which have to consider the whole down-
town area and its space quality.
Traffic is one of main regulations for urban open space which must be re-
evaluated for the downtown before and after pedestrian mall development.
Traffic patterns of the proposed mall and its density, existence of close by
traffic lanes to access service and emergency are the main factors deter-
mining the mall type. New traffic patterns characterize the flow and circula-
tion of pedestrians. Thats why one way traffic patterns should be used
around the mall to simplify the flow of the traffic and the pedestrian access.
Cross passing should be provided inside the mall to catch a glimpse from
the vehicle, for loading passengers and for service connection (see figure
Parking and Public transportation are the other factors which have to be
evaluated for the whole downtown. When a mall is designed, it is a new
attraction spot for the public which will increase the number of users. Suffi-
cient access at a reasonable distance should be provided for vehicles and
for the public transportation to the mall(see figures 4.19,20). If it is semimall
it will be easy to bring parking and public transportation inside the mall, if it is
a transit mall it will let public transportation inside, however, if its full mall, it
will require additional spaces for parking and public transportation in down
town area. Trade requires that vehicular traffic should be able to come right
up to the boundary of the pedestrian zone. The distance from parking lots
should be no more than 200 m., though a maximum of 500m would be rea-
Figure 4.19 (Left) Even though adventegeous of parking in the mall, it gives less
oppurtunity and enjoyment for walking pedestrian in Fort Collins semi mall.
Figure 4.20 (Right) Light rail brings more people into the mall and creates less
visual destruction in experience in Denver 16th St. transit mall.
As a design element the existence and the placement of a variety of
plants has an important effect on space quality in the urban mall. Their variety
in size, scale, form, and color gives many options to the designer to form the
mall space(see figure 4.21). They separate different space usage by screen-
ing, helping to relate human and building scale, creating a sense of space and
enclosure, and defining harmony and design continuity (see figures 4.22).
Figure 4.21 Role of the trees in creating space.
Source; Central City Malls, 1978
Thats why their use in the mall should be considered seriously in the
places where they enable safe, secure circulation and a comfortable environ-
ment with an open vista for the pedestrians
Two additional rows of tree:
planted within 8 lane (90 feet wide
street showing how the trees become
an appropriately dominant element
Single row of trees planted on
each side of 8 lane (90 feet wide) street
showing the scale weakness. Trees are
of peripnera! interest.
Figure 4.22 Sense of enclosure
Source; Trees in Urban Design,1993
QUALITY OF NATURE IN URBAN
Urban people are isolated from nature and its qualities in between glass
and concrete walls of the cities. The downtown street is a canyon with its own
micro climate. A pedestrian mall is one of the only oasis in this system meeting
the desires of urban people. It is one of the major open spaces for the public in
downtown areas. An urban mall is a place not only for retail purposes but also
for recreation, entertainment and, moreover, it is an open space where people
can connect with the quality of nature.
The comfort of the pedestrian in the mall is the main idea of street clo-
sure. The condition of the environment is the other factor which influences the
comfort of the user, so does the quality of the mall. Thats why certain factors
related with nature in the mall should be understood and evaluated in favor of
pedestrians. In this chapter climate, environmental engineering and vegetation
will be explained and evaluated to improve the quality of nature in an urban
1. Climate Control
Leon Batista Alberti, and, later Andrea Palladio reported on the observa-
tion by Cornelius Tacitus that parts of Rome become hotter and less healthy
during the summer after the streets were widened during the reign of Emperor
Nero. Thomas Jefferson, upon returning from England and France, complained
about the constantly gray skies of England and commented on the collective
psyche of the English as showing suicidal tendencies due to lack of sunlight in
Climate has a major effect on street level pedestrian activity (see table
5.1). Thats why different climatic factors such as wind, radiation, and precipita-
tion should be understood and controlled in downtown pedestrian malls in order
to give a better experience with nature for mall users.
A unique form of the downtown is the fact of the urban winds and their
velocity level as well as the occurunce of natural wind. Buildings, streets and
Table 5.1 Characteristic of Urban climate
Elements Compared to Rural Environs Elements Compared to Rural Environs
Condensation nuclei 10 times more Amounts 5-15% more
Particulate 10 times more Days less than 5 mm 10% more
Gaseous admixtures 5-25 times more Snowfall, inner city 5-10% less
Radiation: Snowfall, lee of city 10% more
Total on horizontal surfac 30-20% less Thunderstorms 10-15% more
Ultraviolet, winter 30% less Temperature:
Ultraviolet, summer 5% less Annual mean 0.5-3 C more
Sunshine duration 5-15% less Winter minimal-average 1-2 C more'
Cloudiness: Summer maxima 1 -3 C more
Clouds 5-10% more Heating degree days 10% less
Fog, winter 100% more Wind speed:
Fog, summer 30% more Annual mean 20-30% less
Relative humidity: Extreme gusts 10-20% less
Annual mean 6% less Calm 5-20% more
Winter 2% less
Summer 8% less
Source; The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human Design,1984
(Original) Helmut E. Landsberg, The urban climate (New York: Academic Pree, 1981).
automobiles heat the air then the heated air rises. When this movement contin
ues along the street corridor it creates an air velocity. Other high wind effects
occur when the wind effecting the region is directed by the facade of the high
buildings along the street corridor and increase the winds speed. On the con-
trary in some cases location of the buildings or the use of short compact trees in
pedestrian level may prevent the air circulation by closing the major wind direc-
In both cases, wind is one of the major factors effecting pedestrian com-
fort at street level. At lower speeds it can be relaxing while at higher speeds it
becomes disturbing (see table 5.2). Thats why the location, height and the bulk
rate of the building should be considered carefully again for the pedestrian ar-
eas to increase comfort at street level. In addition, trees with proper sizes
should be located in places where they can control the wind velocity (see figure
5.1). For example, for the first time in North America, San Francisco designed
wind velocity standards for buildings to protect pedestrian comfort.23
Table 5.2 Effect of wind on pedestrians
Wind Speed Pedestrian Discomfort
Up to 4 mph No noticeable effect is felt
4 to 8 mph Wind is felt on the face
8 to 13 mph Wind disturbs hair, flaps clothing, and extends a light flag mounted on a pole.
13 to 19 mph Wind raises dust, dry soil, and loose paper and disarranges hair.
19 to 26 mph The force of the wind is felt on the body.
26-34 mph Umbrellas are used with difficulty; hair is blown straight; and pedestrians have difficulty in walking steadily.
Source; Peoples Place,(1990)
Figure 5.1 Proper planting can prevent velocity in pedestrian mall.
Source; Urban Foresty, 1978
1.2 Solar Radiation
Solar radiation waves pass through similar natural processes on their
journey to the earth. They are absorbed, reflected and directed by the different
layers of atmosphere until they get close to the level under human control. Then,
this process starts showing changes in different regions according to the struc-
ture and the materiality of the earth surface.
Heat is one of the major results of radiation. It occurs and increases in
urban streets because of the high absorption by the buildings, streets, paving
and the other materials. Temperatures could show a 24 degree F change be-
tween the concrete surface and the air in the city24, while it shows a 9 to 20
degree F change between the city and the suburbs in general.25 These high
temperatures could be advantageous for the pedestrian at street level in winter.
Since the pavement and the street will cool down slowly, it may be advanta-
geous at night in the city. However, it may create distinct problems in human
comfort in the malls in hot climates and also during daytime in the summer
Thats why heat levels should be controlled by the use of proper materi-
als and design elements to give at least three comfortable hours in the after-
noon in a downtown pedestrian mall. Architecture should avoid the use of highly
reflective material on the facade of the buildings along the pedestrian malls and
structures should let sunlight onto sidewalks for all season use. Proper planting
should be chosen and located to prevent direct and the reflected solar radiation
waves from pedestrian level, to take advantage of transpiration. Also plant size
should be considered for ventilation purposes in the mall.
Rain, snow, and in some cases hail, are the ingredients of precipitation.
The occurrence and the level of precipitation may be disturbing for the pedes-
trian experience in a downtown pedestrian mall. Unlike wind and solar radia-
tion, the amount of precipitation doesnt show as much difference as other fac-
tors between downtown areas and the suburbs. However, the amount of pre-
cipitation reaching the street level is higher and faster than in the suburban
areas. First, the extra precipitation collects on the facades and the roofs of the
buildings. In addition, snow and hail loose their form faster because of the high
internal heat level of the buildings as well as the high heat level of the downtown
area. Moreover, the use of salt, chemicals, and the gravel to open street also
increase the amount.
This effects the comfort of the pedestrian and the condition of nature in
urban pedestrian malls. Collected water on the hard surfaces prevents circula-
tion. The use of salt and other chemicals effects the plant life. The existence of
hard surfaces prevents soil from moisturizing. Plants loose their winter cover in
As a result, due to the facts listed above, more shelters and plants should
be used in the high precipitation regions to slow down, and to prevent precipita-
tion at the pedestrian level. Soil and grass surfaces should be introduced as
much as possible to resist water along the mall and the rest of it should be
drained away. The use of chemicals and salt should be avoided.
2. Environmental Engineering
An over crowded population, dense transportation networks, and large
and dense urban structures with their varied materiality in the downtown urban
area create an environment which is quite different than the suburbs. This for-
mation brings extra environmental problems effecting human comfort and physi-
ology on street level in the downtown area. Thats why environmental problems
such as noise, air pollution, and reflection should be evaluated carefully and
reduced to give the pedestrian a better experience in the mall.
2.1 Air and Pollution
Air is the carrier of one of the basic needs of human physiology which is
oxygen. Nevertheless, the air surrounding the city has more ingredients than
the human body needs, these are pollutants. Carbon oxides from exhaust,
sulfur oxides from fuel combustion and burned coal, nitrogen oxides from ex-
haust, ozone from sunlight activating exhaust, particulate such as asbestos from
car brakes, and lead and dust are the main pollutants in the air. Most of the coal
and wood heating systems were transformed into petroleum and gas during this
century in the cities. Pollution at street level is mostly derived from vehicles.
Air pollution mainly effects human physiology and comfort in two ways in
the mall. First is the direct effect, which is the difficulty experienced in respira-
tion and further health problems. Second is the indirect effect, which changes
in the climate such as letting more ultraviolet in or contaminating the precipita-
tion so does the streets facades and exc.
Even though the mall seems to be the safest street among the city streets
because of being closed or restricted to vehicle traffic, certain precautions should
be taken in favor of pedestrian health in the pedestrian mall. Design elements
should allow air ventilation to freshen the air. Trees should be chosen from
hardy species with hairy and large leaves, and with dense twigs. Proper plant-
ing filters most of the particulate air pollution while it is turning carbon dioxide in
to oxygen by photosynthesis. Use of ground covers also encourages the filter-
ing of particulate pollutants. If possible, buffer zones should be designated
between streets and sidewalks in transit and semi malls.
2.2 Sound and Noise
Human ears can sense from 20 to 20, 000 cycles per second. This range
allows people to hear most of the sounds occurring on different occasions. How-
ever, it doesnt mean we want to hear the sounds occurring on every occasion.
Unwanted sounds form noise. The separation is relative from one person to
another and depends on human physiology and psychology, but most people
show similar reactions to similar sound sources.
Heavy traffic, construction sites, crowds, ventilation and heating systems
are the basic sources forming noise, and building walls are the factors keeping
it in the downtown area. Disturbance is inevitable to pedestrian comfort at
street level. Thats why they should be buffered, reduced and eliminated by
benefiting from design elements. Plants are the main absorber of sound (see
Figure 5.2Plant sound attenuation
Source; Urban Foresty, 1978
They should be located in key places such as between the sidewalk and
street for traffic free malls and at the corner of the crossing streets, as well as
around construction sites and intersection points between crowded places in
markets or plazas (see figure 5.3). Construction should be done only in the less
crowded hours. Again, for the same purpose, ventilation or heating systems
should be located far from pedestrian areas and isolation and silencers should
be used. Since all sounds are not unwanted, water sound and music broad-
casts might be offered in the mall for pedestrian interest. For example, the 16th
street mall broadcast special sounds and music under grates.
CTJC*e :Â£HC>mMA NENTSI* fEPE^TKlAN Â£CUWt*&
rTAHT/N^, :PeÂ£-lpUOU<& fOANTIM^l
_____________Mg^-gr KPPU^TIOM : 2-^ %______________________________
rigure 5.3 Plant can reduce sound in urban pedestrian mall
Source; Urban Foresty, 1990
2.3 Glare and Reflection
Direct light from sun, automobile headlights, building projectors, and strong
street lights are the primary reasons for glare. Use of reflective materials is the
secondary reason. Sunlight can be disturbing for the pedestrian or for a drivers
comfort in the early morning and the late afternoon on east-west streets or at
the intersections and safety becomes a factor because of the sudden preven-
tion of visibility. Automobile headlights and lighting may create the same prob-
lem at night. Again, the reflection in daytime and night lighting also create extra
solar waves which will effect plants physiology and impair the visual experience
of the user. Thats why certain precautions should be taken for glare reduction
in urban malls. Plantation is advised at the east and the west ends of the mall to
screen the primary glare. Projected light sources should kept far from plants.
The use of reflective materials, such as mirrors, chrome, or aluminum on a
building should be avoided to prevent secondary glare (see figures 5.4).
Source; (Top) Denver Source Book, 1982
(Bottom) Pedestrian Malls Street Scapes and Urban Spaces, 1992
Plants, especially the trees, are the most important aesthetic and func-
tional design elements in pedestrian malls. Their existence as a space creating
element and also for improving the nature in a street environment is unavoid-
able. However, they have certain requirements to be able to exist in an urban
environment. Downtown streets arent as inviting to nature as mother nature is
in the periphery. Thats why factors, such as costs, selection of the plants,
preparing proper conditions, locating them, and maintenance should be under-
stood to improve the quality of nature in urban pedestrian mall.
3.1 Cost of the Trees
Cost plays important role urban in street tree existence and selection.
Especially in urban areas they cost almost twice the amount as they cost in
suburban areas (see table 5.3). Moreover, urban trees can cost as much as
20% of the total street construction (see figure 5.5). Looking at these numbers
can be scary for the planner in the beginning. However, when the economic
benefit that trees bring compared with the costs, it will be obvious that in their
average lifetime the trees benefit will out weigh the cost (see figure 5.6). Fur-
thermore they will physiologically impact human lives on the mall.
Figure 5.5 (Left) Tree cost as portion of one street construction, New York ctiy.
Figure 5.6 (Right) Comperison of cost and benefit of urban street trees.
Source; Trees in Urban Design, 1993
Table 5.3 Cost variation in urban tree planting (1990 Costs, New York City)
Low Medium High A. Suburban
Tree(Balled & Burlapped)5"-6" Caliper 800 1000 1200 1000
Installation Labor and Equipment 350 400 450 300
Growning Medium (300-400 CF) 800 1000 1200 100*
Drainage System 200 250 350 0
Aeration System 0 200 400 0
Irrigation System 0 0 300 0
Surface Material (150 to 200 SF) 450 600 900 90
One year Maintenance and Guarantee 350 450 600 280
Total Cost Per Tree in Dollars 2950 3900 5400 1770
Standard topsoil mixture 50 CF
Source; Trees in Urban Design, 1993
3.2 Plant Selection
The diversity of plants give variety of options for different uses as design
elements. However, the downtown street environment cant be healthy for
every variety of plant all the time. Nature has a different effect on streets in
urban areas, and this artificial environment doesnt meet some plants survival
requirements. Thats why plant selection should be carefully done for down-
town pedestrian malls. Such factors as adequate space, micro climate, and soil
conditions, should be reviewed and matched with the requirements of the plants.
The use of native plants should be emphesised because of their strength, and
their tolerance to the local climate in the long term. Again the plants tolerance to
the pollution and solar radiation should be considered in the selection period.
For pedestrian safety and comfort pile root plants should be chosen for
the paved areas. The used of fruit making plants should be avoided, as also
plants inviting the insects.
3.3 Conditions and Locations
Research shows that the average life of a tree in a downtown street is
around 7 years(see figure 5.7). This period can be extend depending on the
location of the trees in the best city site for up to 60 years. The life time of the
plant clearly depends on the condition of the downtown environment. As part of
this environment, a pedestrian mall should factor in certain conditions in favor of
Source; Trees in Urban Design, 1993
Trees in pedestrian malls need better quality soil. Developing the down-
town with its construction sites and heavy equipment compacts the soil with
artificial elements. Underground constructions limit the amount of soil which
plant require desperately. The result is unhealthy conditions for urban plants.
Trees require a certain amount of soil with good drainage (see figure 5.8). Thats
why the amount of soil should be added to with healthy soil in the tree planting
areas in downtown mall. Considering the root growth, trunk size changes, and
the watering, enough space should be left on surface pavement.
ft2/m2 | Ultimate Iree Size inch/cm
900/83.6 20/50 Example: G40 square feet x
640/59.5 Crown Projection 16/40 Â£ C
480/44.6 12/30 o W >
320/29.7 8/20 o 0
140/13.0 4/10 p 'o o
Soil Volu Hpcitiirpr me | 200 400 600 800 1,0001,2 " 5.6 11.3 17.0 22.6 28.3 34 00 1,400 1,600/tt 1.0 39.6 45.3/mj
Technical requirements /
in cr o V /
/ MULCH, PAVEMENT, OR TRFF GRATF PLAN
5.8 Figure Soil requirements of urban trees.
Source; (Bottom, left) Landscape Architecture magazine, 1996
(Others) Trees in Urban Design, 1993
Solar radiation is the other factor which is necessary for plant life. It has
an important effect on transpiration and photosynthesis during the plant's life
cycle. That's why trees and other plants should be located in a places where
they can get enough sunlight in the downtown malls (see figures 5.9).
Figures 5.9 Proper street structures for street plantation.
Source; Trees in Urban Design, 1993
Maintenance another factor that helps to keep plants alive and in good
shape in the urban pedestrian mall. Watering and fertilizing should be done
regularly because of the limited conditions of the soil in the mall. Pruning should
be done regularly to help the prevent evaporation. Injured parts, made under
different circumstances, such as a car hit, or storm damage also should be
taken care of. Insecticide should be applied regularly in an urban mall to im-
prove the condition and the life time of the plants while reducing the number of
the insects disturbing for pedestrian comfort.
IMPACT OF NATURE & OPEN SPACE
IN AN URBAN FABRIC
1. Quality of an Urban Pedestrian Mall
Agora, Forum, Piazza, Plaza, Square; the name, function and character
of the public open spaces have changed dramatically throughout the history.
From the beginning of the human history until the medieval period, public spaces
with their nature and open space formed the cities. Then they started to loose
their status in the cities. At the beginning of this century, gradually increasing
urban populations led technological developments, and industrial revolution which
introduced cars, streets, highways, high-rises, and suburbs into our society.
All these innovations introduced the USA to a new form of city, and a
public open space, urban pedestrian malls. The new city form is basically com-
posed of two parts. First, residential areas which are mostly suburbs, and
were located in the periphery. Second, businesses and retail areas, which is
downtown and were located in the center of the city. New public open spaces,
pedestrian malls, mostly took their place in main downtown streets which were
the center of retail once, before suburban malls existed.
There were two reasons why in thirty years, this open space usage
bloomed in downtown main streets in more than 200 cities in USA. First,, there
were a need for public open space in over-structured downtown areas. Sec-
ond, and most considered once, especially for USA cities was that they were a
good solution to the declining retail in main downtown streets.
Urban pedestrian malls still are the best solution for downtown areas and
they will continue to be in the future. However, as mentioned., todays architec-
ture and urban design tends to be shamelessly market oriented, because that is
the primary language of communication in todays societies26. Thats why pe-
destrian malls, which are market oriented, are suffering from this situation as a
public space. They are highly limited and business oriented as an open space,
and dysfunctional and rare as nature. Even though pedestrians are supposed
to be the dominant element of these new public open spaces, they are some-
how forgotten because of market considerations in society. In our case, public
interests are more important than the market considerations, of society. Thats
why we should create quality open spaces in favor of the public.
The quality urban pedestrian malls are the ones which consider:
Social, economic and design factors as an elements characterizing, qualify-
ing, and forming the open space in urban pedestrian malls in favor of pedes-
trian comfort and safety.
Environmental factors, such as climate that need to be controlled, pollution
and noise that need to be discarded, or vegetation that need to be improved
in the nature of pedestrian malls in favor of pedestrian comfort and needs.
2. A Quality Urban Environment With a Quality Pedestrian Mall
The existence and condition of open space and nature in urban areas
depends on the observation of the individual pieces forming the urban environ-
ment facade by facade, street by street. An urban pedestrian mall is the main
element of the urban environment. Therefore the factors, evaluated during this
study effecting the quality of nature and open space for an urban pedestrian
mall, are also the ones which are effecting the quality of the urban environment.
There is no mathematical formula for building either a perfect pedestrian
mall or public open space, or a perfect urban environment. However, there are
factors which make unavoidable connections among perfect pedestrian malls
and perfect downtowns. These are the use of open space and nature. Unlike
most of the other public open spaces, from proposal to construction, the deci-
sions about pedestrian malls effect part or the whole of the downtown area
scenario. From the sanctions of the zoning to the character of design elements
or from the choice of the street trees to planning for wind and radiation, an
urban pedestrian mall is a brief look to the urban character and pattern.
According to Harvey The city was more like a theater series of stage
upon which individuals could work their own distinctive magic while performing
a multiplicity roles.27 The factors introduced during this study are not only for
planning and designing suitable pedestrian malls forthe public or improving the
conditions of the ones which already exist in downtown areas, but, they are
also a way to look at the streets, high-rises, blocks, plazas, skywalks and more.
Actually it is an overall look at a whole downtown area. Pedestrian malls are
one of the main performers on the urban stage which play their distinctive role
to revitalize downtown areas to introduce a quality urban form.
1 Pregill,Philip; Walkman, Nancy (1993). Landscape in History
2 Rubenstein, Harvey M. (1992). Pedestrian Malls, Streetscapes, and Urban Space
3 Bacon, Edmund N. (1974). Design of Cities
4 Ching, Francis D.K. (1996). Architecture: Form, Space and Order
5 Spreiregen, Paul D. (1965). Urban Design: The Architecture of Town and Cities
6 Pregill, P. ; Volkman, N. (1993). Landscapes in History
7 Marcus, C.C.;Francis,C.(1990). Peoples Places
8 Lynch, K.; Rivkin, M. (19). A Walk Araund the Block Environmental Psychol-
ogy 2nd Edition: People and Their Physical Settings
9 Robertson, Kent A. (1994). Pedestrian Malls and Skywalks
10 Rubenstein, Harvey M. (1992). Pedestrian Malls, Streetscapes, and Urban
11 Ramati, R. (1981). How to Save Your Own Street
12 Garnham, Harry L. (1985). Maintaining the spirit of Place ,
13 Thompson, Williams J. (1995). Colors of Renewal, p.39-57, 116.
14 Lynch, K. ; Rivkin, M. (19 ). p363-372
15 Rubenstein H. (1992). Pedestrian Malls, Streetscapes, and Urban Spaces,
16 Denver Urban Design Source book p112
17 Third Annual Pedestrian Conference.1982. p. 108
18 Rubenstein, H. (1992). Pedestrian Malls, Streetscapes, and Urban Spaces,
19 Jacobs,A. B. (1995). Great Streets
20 Jacobs,A. B. (1995). Great Streets
21 Uhlig,Klaus (1979). Pedestrian areas
22 Bosselman, P.; Arens, E.; Dunker, K.; Wright, R. (1995) APA Journal,
23 Bosselman, P.; Arens, E.; Dunker, K.; Wright, R. (1995). APA Journal,
24 Rubenstein, Harvey. M. (1992). Pedestrian Malls, Streetscape, and Urban Space
25 Spirin, Whiston Anne (1984). The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human
26 Harvey, David (1990). The Condition of Postmodernity
27 Harvey, David (1990). The Condition of Postmodernity
Arnold, Henry F. (1993). Trees in Urban Design. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New
Bacon, Edmund N. (1974). Design of Cities. Penguin Books, USA.
Barnett, Jonathan (1982). An Introduction to Urban Design. Harper & Row,
Barnett, Jonathan (1974). Urban Design As Public Policy. Architectural Record,
Bosselman, P; Arens, E.; Dunker, K.; Wright, R. (1995) Urban Form and Cli-
mate; Case Study, Toronto APA Journal, p. 226-239
Brambilla, R.; Longo, G.; Dzurinko, V. (1977). American Urban Malls Compen-
dium. U.S Goverment Printing Office Washington, D.C.
Breines, S.; Dean, W. J. (1974). The Pedestrian Revolution Streets Without
Cars. Vintage Books, New York.
Broadbent, Geoffrey (1990). Emerging Concepts in Urban Space Design. Van
Nostrand Reinhold, London, New York.
Brown, J. R.; Laumer, M. (1995) Comeback Cities, Urban Land, p. 46-51, 83.
Ching, Francis D. K. (1996). Architecture Form.Space, and Order. International
Thomson Publishing Inc. Newyork, Albany, Bonn, London.
Edminster, R.; Koffman D. (1979). Streets for Pedestrians and Transit, The
National Technical Information Service, Virginia.
French, Jere S. (1978). Urban Space. Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, Iowa.
Garnham, Harry L. (1985). Maintaining the Spirit of Place. PDA Publishers
Corporation, Mesa, Arizona.
Goldsteen, J. B.; Elliott D. C. (1994). Designing America: Creating Urban Iden-
tity. Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York.
Grey, G. W.; Deneile, F. J. (1978). Urban Forestry, John Wiley & Sons, New
York, Santa Barbara, Toronto.
Harvey, David (1990). The Condition of Post modernity. Blackwell Publishers,
Heckscher, August (1977). Open Spaces: The Life of American Cities. Harper
& Row, Publishers, New York.
Jacobs, Allan B. (1995). Great Streets. Bambo b Dekr Corporation, USA.
Krier, Rob (1979). Urban Space. Rizzoli International Publications, Newyork.
Lynch, K.; Rivkin, M. (19). A Walk Around the Block, Environmental Psy-
chology 2nd Edition: People and Their Physical Settings, p. 363-372, edited by
Harold M. Proshansky Publisher, New York.
Mann, William A. (1993). Landscape Architecture. John Wiley and Sons, inc.,
Newyork, Chichester, Brisbone, Toronto, Singapore.
Marcus, C. C.; Francis, C. (1990). Peoples Places: Design Guidelines for Ur-
ban Open Space, Van Nostrrand Reinhold, New York.
Moudon, Anne V. (1991). Public Streets for Public Use, Columbia University
Press, New York.
Newman, Morris (1995). The Strips Meets the Flaming Volcano, Progressive
Architecture, p. 82-86
Pregill, P; Walkman, N. (1993). Landscapes in History. Van Nostrand Reinhold,
Pushkarev, Boris; Zupan, Jeffrey M. (1975). Urban Space for Pedestrians. MIT
Ramati, Raquel (1981). How to Save Your Own Street. Doubleday and Com-
pany, New York.
Rishel, Joseph F.(1992). American Cities and Towns. Duquesne University
Press, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Robertson, Kent A. (1994). Pedestrian Malls and Skvwalks. Avebury, Hong
Robertson, Kent A. (1993). Pedestrianization Strategies for Downtown Plan-
ners, APA Journal, p.361- 368
Rubenstein, Harvey M. (1992). Pedestrian Malls. Streetscapes. and Urban
Spaces, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
Rubenstein, Harvey M. (1978). Central City Malls. John Wiley & Sons, New
Shirvani, Hamid (1985). The Urban Design Process. Van Nostrand Reinhold
Company, Inc., New York.
Smith, A.; Enquist, R (1996). State Street; Rewieving the heartbeat of the loop,
Urban Land, p. 14-19
Spirin, Whiston Anne (1984). The Granite Garden: Urban Nature and Human
Design. Basic Books, Inc., New York.
Spreiregen, Paul D. (1965). Urban Design: The Architecture of Towns and
Cities. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Thompson, Williams J. (1995). Colors of Renewal, Landscape Architecture,
Uhlig, Klaus (1979). Pedestrian Areas. Architectural Book Publishing Co., New
______, Denver Urban Design Source Book, Denver Planning Office, Denver,
______t Third Annual Pedestrian Conference, Transportation Division, Boul-
List of Tables
Table 3.1 Mall typology in USA.............................................22
Table 4.1 Interpersonal distances..........................................32
Table 4.2 Levels of service for standing pedestrians.......................33
Table 4.3 Cataloque of central city malls..............................39-40
Table 4.4 Vacancy rate.....................................................42
Table 4.5 Sidewalk obstructions to pedestrian flows........................55
Table 5.1 Charecteristics of urban climate.................................62
Table 5.2 Effect of wind on pedestrians....................................63
Table 5.3 Cost variation in urban tree planting............................72