If we ever colonize Mars, our settlements will look a lot like Santee Town Center.
The heart of Santee, CA, on San Diego’s eastern edge, is a series of interlocking strip malls, the big box monster kind, abutted with parking lots vast enough to accommodate a jetliner. It is almost totally artificial: palm trees line the trolley tracks which lead to the fountain which is the mall’s sort of centre, and planted deciduous trees sort of shelter the pavement between the parking bays. Behind the hangar-like rooftops are the desert hills, bony and red-brown in color, which constitute the real southern California. Blink once, twice, and you can imagine the mall as a series of bunkers clamped down on the surface of an alien planet. All it needs is a glass dome.
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