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Yayınlanmış Bildiri

ERMAN AKSOY

RENEWAL OF PUBLIC SPACE USE: SHOPPING MALLS

RENEWAL OF PUBLIC SPACE USE: SHOPPING MALLS

İngilizce

2008

Public space, The use of public space and its mutation, Shopping malls, Security, Ankara

 

Today, cities are spaces in which societies and individuals cohabit and socialize, and have taken over the role of acting like the meeting grounds for fractions of the society which have grown apart and for their actions. Public spaces, which are not only influential on the formation of the cities but also on their development process, are one of the most significant elements for the realization of these actions. These are the spaces which support the urbanites’ socio-cultural experiences through activities outside of their housing and working environments, thereby structuring and strengthening their relationship with the society. In the pre-modern period, shopping was an activity based on meeting basic necessities. This activity would be integrated into other urban functions and would be carried out in the city center. City centers would consist of characteristics that would enrich and encourage the urbanites’ social activities. In the modern period, however, there has been a shift towards a social structure in which educational opportunities have expanded, division of labor and specilization have increased, women have become more active in business life, the extended family has been replaced by the nuclear, urban population has escalated, and communication tools have started affecting the whole of social life. This society is also one in which political, economic, and cultural relations interact with one another at both the local and the global level. In line with this change, the urban public space has lost its socially unifying characteristic and has been reconstructed in the new shopping malls, specifically towards the end of the 20th century. In this respect, it can be argued that the use of public spaces and their physical characteristics have begun to change along with shopping and the public spaces that offer this activity. Today, shopping malls, which are founded for the purposes of production and of making surplus products consumed, have become the most significant and most popular urban public spaces. Due to the security problem and the necessity of acquiring huge land, such shopping malls are appearing as detached from their surroundings and their contexts, and as introvert. These mega structures, which, along with shopping, offer various urban functions (such as sports, gastronomy, and the like), are shaped according to the preferences of the capital (cheap land and labor force, convenienet transportation, and the like) which is structured through consumption-oriented global networks or according to their own standards. These preferences, which appear through urban expansion or development dynamics, create a new urban public space. This process will be analyzed through the Ankara city model.

 

Today, cities are spaces in which societies and individuals cohabit and socialize, and have taken over the role of acting like the meeting grounds for fractions of the society which have grown apart and for their actions. Public spaces, which are not only influential on the formation of the cities but also on their development process, are one of the most significant elements for the realization of these actions. These are the spaces which support the urbanites’ socio-cultural experiences through activities outside of their housing and working environments, thereby structuring and strengthening their relationship with the society. In the pre-modern period, shopping was an activity based on meeting basic necessities. This activity would be integrated into other urban functions and would be carried out in the city center. City centers would consist of characteristics that would enrich and encourage the urbanites’ social activities. In the modern period, however, there has been a shift towards a social structure in which educational opportunities have expanded, division of labor and specilization have increased, women have become more active in business life, the extended family has been replaced by the nuclear, urban population has escalated, and communication tools have started affecting the whole of social life. This society is also one in which political, economic, and cultural relations interact with one another at both the local and the global level. In line with this change, the urban public space has lost its socially unifying characteristic and has been reconstructed in the new shopping malls, specifically towards the end of the 20th century. In this respect, it can be argued that the use of public spaces and their physical characteristics have begun to change along with shopping and the public spaces that offer this activity. Today, shopping malls, which are founded for the purposes of production and of making surplus products consumed, have become the most significant and most popular urban public spaces. Due to the security problem and the necessity of acquiring huge land, such shopping malls are appearing as detached from their surroundings and their contexts, and as introvert. These mega structures, which, along with shopping, offer various urban functions (such as sports, gastronomy, and the like), are shaped according to the preferences of the capital (cheap land and labor force, convenienet transportation, and the like) which is structured through consumption-oriented global networks or according to their own standards. These preferences, which appear through urban expansion or development dynamics, create a new urban public space. This process will be analyzed through the Ankara city model.