CHENNAI: E-retail has become a dominant factor for malls in the city, which has significantly increased and severely impacted the smaller malls, says Aum Gohil, an architect, who has won Best Sustainable Design at the international - Asia Young Designer Award 2021 by Nippon Paint recently. During an interaction with DT Next, he talked about the sustainability of malls and effects on the environment.
"During the pandemic induced lockdown, when the malls were shut down for a longer time, the consumers converted their shopping through online portals. And the E-retail sale has increased significantly post the pandemic and smaller malls are already dead due to this. Similarly, even bigger malls are slightly impacted in recent days, and they are on the stage of thinking of how they can sustain, " explained Aum.
The malls in chennai have a specific type of architecture that makes it a part of of vicious consumer’s cycle. The concept of malls can be a person purchasing the needed things and coming out, instead it ends up in buying many things which are not needed, and later turns out to be wasted.
It should be imagined in a way, where it becomes a part of a larger circular cycle. Efforts of recycling and reusing should be an active part of the consumerist culture.
Aum said that the method should be introduced in such programmes within a larger chain, where it should be prioritised to change the mindset of people. Every stakeholder has a role to play and to contribute towards circularity to reduce the waste that is generated.
"Currently, the mall is only for consumption, but after following certain ways to protect the environment it can be turned out to be consumption and production. To make it future oriented , we need to start thinking of ways of adapting to the newer programmes of repurposing as a part of the mall to make them sustain and move towards a zero waste goal, " he added.