Publication Date



The Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, in Amherst, is part of the Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning Department, and is funded by the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the University of Massachusetts.


This study examines the history of urban mall development in the United States and the role of such sites in widespread revitalization efforts that are intended to protect the city from further decline and bring it back to its once thriving existence, before the mass relocations to the suburbs.

Providence Place in downtown Providence, Rhode Island is the primary focus of the study which has three objectives. The first objective is to analyze the development patterns of suburban malls in the Providence region. The second is to identify the economic factors that prompted the development of a large scale downtown mall in Providence. And finally, the third objective is to determine whether the identified factors can be used as indicators for the new mall developments in other urban areas.

This study includes a city profile for Providence, Rhode Island, detailed information about the Providence Place development, a regional profile summarizing other malls in the region, and case studies of downtown malls throughout the United States.

Conclusions to the three objectives identified above are outlined at the end of the study along with recommendations for future studies.


Section 3: Pages 1-148