Malls are both a thoroughfare and a destination: something between the English “shaded public avenue” and the American “enclosed shopping centre”. Longer malls may have integrated PRT or other public transport.
ConnectedCity malls have several functions. They:
cater efficiently for pedestrian movement;
articulate the structure of the town and help visitors find their way;
provide sites for businesses and organisations looking for maximum exposure to the public;
incorporate housing for singles and couples.
Many malls are part of a transport interchange, perhaps with a railway station at one end and a bus station or micro-station at the other. Any road at the end of, or crossing, a mall has a pedestrian priority crossing for the mall, sometimes with an all-over roof.
Malls vary widely in size and form. In city centres, they are usually supplied from rear service yards or by lifts from basement or roof level. Some malls are simply streets closed to through traffic. Some are covered, some open, and some a combination of the two.
They mostly have retail frontages at ground level and offices and flats above. At the higher levels the buildings often reduce in depth from floor to floor, so that each flat has private open space.
In malls created from or built in the style of traditional streets there may be adaptable, mixed-use houses on the frontage and flats and cottages in courtyards behind.