That does sound like something John would write, I concur.
As to the figurative “mall” it’s just like an actual mall, really. Ideally, a clean, safe environment, with maintained lanes of travel, communication, shelter, and food, to engage in enterprise.
This line of thought is why I have such a stick up my ass over things like the defund the police movement. I’m one who actually likes living under a covenant that says that people can’t just take my stuff; I like the idea that I can park my car out front and expect it to be there—along with paved roads and working lights to pass the car through in the morning—and I like the idea of my wife being able to go buy organic produce and oat milk for our lattes without needing two guys with plate carriers and long arms riding along. Malls were designed for the safety and convenience of commerce, not the safety and convenience of developmentally delayed people’s feelings. JMO.