As we discuss the idea of energy, flow and transformation through the city, I began to think about all of the new malls that are poping up around the country. Cities, retailers and restaurant owners all around the U.S. are beginning to rethink the idea of these "mega" malls that have dominated the last 20 years. Most cities have rivers flowing through or around them, and planners have begun to see the value in building a promenade with shopping and dinning on the riverfronts. These promenades have gained enormous popularity because they bring the element of water, sun and the outdoors to create a more natural envirnment.
The long stone wall that Andy Goldsworthy so beautifully wove through the woods, making sure to respect the heritage and presence of every tree, made me think about these promenades. People have grown bored of "concrete jungles," and being boxed in by manmade objects all day long. I think that this change in malls is a wakeup call to the fact that our society has become surrounded by mass production and superficiality, and people are embracing the idea of haveing water, trees, plants and flowers placed about in an organic manner that best fits the natural terrain of a particular geographic location. I think that cities should, and will continue to bring back part of this "natural envirnement" that existed long before these cities covered everything up with concrete and tar. The rivers flowing through these cities have proved to be a place where we can not only bring in the element of natural trees and stone, but also a place where businesses can thrive because people like it so much.