In this past century, we have witnessed a huge boom in the development of mega shopping malls and structures. There have been ups and downs in this industry, but it seems that this trend is increasing all the time. But in addition to all the increased economic growth from the increased sales and tourism, are building malls really the right choice? What are the disadvantages of building shopping malls and how can these issues be resolved?
A huge disadvantage caused by the building up of shopping malls is that it has increased consumerism. This side effect of shopping malls is often time s mistaken as a means of economic growth. People go into malls for buying a pair of jeans, but end up buying a whole lot more. This is because of the easy access to all the ‘ brands’ under a single roof. It has also been observed that people are willing to pay a higher price for a product bought in a shopping mall as compared to the price of the same product in a low street store. Is this teaching our future generations the value of money? Is it healthy to spend more than you can afford?
With the huge number of shopping malls increasing around the world, they are becoming a huge environmental threat as well. First of all they require a lot of electrical resources. A shopping mall is usually centrally air-conditioned and very well lit up. This increases global warming. Harmful CO2 emissions from the huge air conditioners are emitted into the environment. Most contractors and builders do not have any concern that if the shopping malls consume so many resources; the rural areas are left with very less electricity.
Shopping malls are also serving a cause for shopping addiction. This is a huge psychological concern among experts. Addictions need triggers for them to surface. It has been seen that shopping malls serve as a way to relieve life stress and feeling of insecurity leading to addiction. Another factor of addiction is that the subject loses consciousness of time and often times do not realize the conditions and states that are not associated with the target. In a shopping mall scenario, the shopping addict cannot determine the time spent in the mall and ends up shopping and spending more.
No matter how eco-friendly and ‘ green’ these shopping malls are presented to be, they are a huge threat to the environment, economy and human psychology. Shopping malls result in unnecessary electricity consumption, addiction and deceptive feelings, traffic malfunctioning, and a barrier to the rural area development. There should be a better and more sensible approach to the development of such mega malls, which could benefit the sustainability if the environment as well as the well being of us humans.
Miles, Steven. Consumerism: As a Way of Life. SAGE Publications Ltd, 1998.
Sena Izgi, Reyhan Ateş, Cem Soyer. ” Negative Effects of Shopping Malls.” December 2010. 28 November 2013