Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah

Second Advisor

Dr. Lisa DeChano-Cook

Third Advisor

Rebecca Harvey


Revitalization, downtown, Kalamazoo, pedestrian, mall

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Kalamazoo Mall is the first pedestrian mall in the United States. Since then the Mall has gone through many changes. The Mall was first created to be a completely pedestrian-friendly space closed off to cars and to help revitalize the downtown after suburban mall competition. However, the Mall did not keep people downtown as expected, resulting in the reintroduction of automobile traffic in two of the four blocks of the Mall. In spite of these changes Although there have been several changes, the Mall still exists today while many pedestrian Malls have closed. This thesis seeks to understand the resiliency of the Kalamazoo Mall. People visiting the mall and attending festivals as well as residents of two zip codes in Kalamazoo County, Michigan were surveyed. This study found that support from the community and the services that the Mall provides is the reason for the Mall’s resiliency. Other services to make the Mall even more resilient were also identified