shopping malls and the future of the bangkok street

Bangkok, famous for hedonistic pleasures and boundless consumerism, has become a worldwide destination for shopping malls. Daily hordes of locals and tourists fill these air-conditioned complexes, some boasting eight stories and over 2,000 shops within a single structure. Much of the roadside square footage in Bangkok's newer districts is now dominated by retail plazas, many featuring pseudo-public greenspaces and common areas. As the character of the streetscape becomes increasingly defined by private retail entities, a question looms: Are private developers the new arbiters of the pedestrian realm?