The Shopping Centers as Global Public Space: The Case of Istanbul

By Nuray Ozaslan.

Published by The International Journal of the Constructed Environment

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Global conditions of urban life widespread throughout the world seemingly as the result of post-industrial period. Local characteristics of the ‘places’ began to dissolute by the unavoidable influences of postmodern conditions and culture. Places of the contemporary urban context transformed into the new forms. Urban public space is one of the historical continuities of the city since the Antiquity. However, the status, form, function and meaning of the public city have changed dramatically since the modern age. This change has turned the public space from being a place where different identities represented equally and individually into a mere consumption area. The former indicated a dialogue between individuals and public socially, culturally, politically and economically, the letter reduced its status into an economic life which created similarities and erased the local varieties. Contemporary shopping centers are accepted as the public space of the postmodern cities all over the world. They offer similar characteristics for different life’s.
The paper will question the shopping centers as the new public spaces with its modern qualities which are different from the traditional urban public space. It will discuss whether contemporary shopping centers would replace the function of the public space in an urban structure or they offer another way for social cohesion. The discussion will be generated by the recent developments of Istanbul where the function of the traditional urban public spaces are replaced by the newly developed shopping centers. It will analyze the function, location and architecture of shopping centers in the city fabric through examples of Istinye Park, Kanyon and Forum and discuss the results in terms of significance and meaning of space in the contemporary culture.

Keywords: Public Space, Global, Shopping Center, Consumption Culture, Tradition, Istanbul, City

The International Journal of the Constructed Environment, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.689MB).

Assoc. Prof. Nuray Ozaslan

Chair, Department of Architecture, Anadolu University, Eskisehir, Turkey

I graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Department of Architecture in Istanbul in 1987. I completed my Masters degree at London University, Barttlet School of Architecture and completed my PhD at the University of York in U.K., in 1995. I have been teaching at Anadolu University, Department of Architecture since 1996 specialising on the history of contemporary architecture and design studios. My recent research subject focused on the results of global influences on the regional and historical urban character of Istanbul.