médiacité: "Controversial new shopping mall" Top 5 Page for this destination Liège Shopping Tip by Nemorino
Liège Shopping: 21 reviews and 41 photos
When I first saw the signs pointing to “médiacité” I thought it had something to do with mendacity, but actually it means Media City and is a new shopping mall and urban development project that was inaugurated in 2009.
Though I generally have something of an aversion to shopping malls, I must say that I immediately felt right at home in this one because it is very bright and cheerful and doesn’t smell of cheap perfume. And it supposedly has all the latest design features to promote energy efficiency and sustainability, but I didn’t know that at the time.
It turns out that médiacité is not only a shopping mall with 124 shops and restaurants, but also includes offices, radio and television studios, a cinema and (soon) an ice-skating rink. The whole complex covers more than 6.5 hectares of what used to be an “industrial wasteland”, part of which was the site of an abandoned tire factory.
My photos show the narrowest part of médiacité at a point which used to be the intersection of two streets. The city closed off this intersection so that the two halves of médiacité could be joined together, but there are signs on the doors saying that people who want to get to the other side are welcome to walk through and also to walk their bicycles through.
Their website says: “Go green and come on two wheels. We are proud of our 200 secure places for bicycles.”
They aren’t quite so proud of their four parking garages with 2,350 spaces for car parking, and indeed these have been severely criticized by environmental groups for bringing unnecessary motor traffic into the city.
My immediate reason for going into médiacité was to get in out of the rain, but I also had lunch there at a very nice vegetarian cafeteria and then found a bookstore where I bought a book to read on the train on the way home. (It turns out that French books are more expensive in Belgium than in France, just as German books are more expensive in Austria than in Germany, even though all these countries use Euros as their currency.)
Second photo: médiacité sign with reflections.
Third photo: The narrowest part of médiacité. The closing off of these streets has been criticized by neighborhood and urban planning groups who say that “the closing of the rue d’Harscamp -- which isolates a district from the rest of the city” is a blatant illustration of “this totally anti-urban conception.” They say the two parts of the médiacité could just as well have been connected by a pedestrian bridge, leaving the streets intact.
Directions: In the Longdoz district of Liège, by the Dérivation de la Meuse.
GPS 50°37'57.99" North; 5°34'50.25" East.
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