A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET
Case Studies 

Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

*Nominee 

Quarry Market Shopping Center

San Antonio

TX

USA

Contributed by 
Maureen Meredith
Project for Public Spaces
 on 
January 30, 2002
December 14, 2017

A giant retail complex whose elements are so spread out that shoppers might as well drive between them.

What makes it Great?

Why it doesn't work?

This shopping center was built where a stone quarry once operated. It is a sprawling sea of parking spaces with stores flung about on the edges.The stores are so spread out that you have to drive to practically each and every one of them. With a little more thought and creativity, the developers/builders/architects could have designed a wonderful "town center" where shoppers could amble around the square(s), sip coffee on patios, and chat by the water fountain on park benches. But alas, the actual users of the shopping center weren't taken into consideration. Even though I live just a half-mile from this shopping center, I refuse to shop there because it's so user-unfriendly. Every time I see it, I lament the lost opportunities. I hope to live in San Antonio long enough to see it bulldozed one day so a new, improved development can replace it.

Access & Linkages

There are high-density apartment complexes near it with some very high-end single-family residences. It's accessible by foot from these developments, but I've never seen people walking there while I've been around it. It is also accessible by bus, and obviously, by car. Car seems to be the dominate mode of transportation to it and around it.

Comfort & Image

This development is massive and intimidating. The pedestrian feels overwhelmed by the massive parking lot and great expanse of stores which feels like they're miles apart. If a person walked there from a nearby apartment, they'd actually NEED a car to get around the center to shop!

Uses & Activities

Because the shopping center is so poorly designed, shopping by car seems to be the only realistic use. The only space I've seen people just "hanging out" is the coffee shop in the Borders Book Store.

Sociability

The place is so pedestrian-unfriendly and there is absolutely no "third space" provided other than the bookstore cafe. You don't see people socializing in the outside areas because there is nothing but parking spaces. You only see people as they walk from their cars to the stores, and out again back to their cars.

How Light?

How Quick?

How Cheap?

History & Background

This place makes minor attempts to reference the site's history as a cement quarry founded in 1880.

Related Links & Sources

Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center
Quarry Market Shopping Center

*Please note that these Hall of Shame nominations were written in a moment in time (most over a decade ago) and likely have since changed or even been transformed. If the above entry is now great, or still not so great, go ahead and comment below on how it has evolved or nominate it as a great place.

NOMINATE A PLACE

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A NEW GUIDE TO BALANCING MOBILITY AND HUMANITY ON MAIN STREET