The City: Before the Mall Palls

Many a modern city is suffering from an epidemic known as the Downtown Disease, or Business Center Blight. There are three courses of treatment: 1) rerouting through traffic away from the business district; 2) cutting off vehicular traffic altogether, as Copenhagen did last month on its principal shopping street, the ⅔-mile-long Stroget; 3) performing major surgery known as "making a mall."

One of the most recent such operations was performed in Pomona, Calif., 28 miles east of Los Angeles, a fast-growing agricultural center of about 75,000 with a number of missile and aircraft equipment factories and four colleges. Though the...

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