User preferences on transformations of shopping centers into private urban public spaces: The case of Izmir, Turkey.


Malike Ã?zsoy

With the spread of globalization, shopping centers are becoming a part of the urban lifestyle in many countries, including Turkey. Their numbers are increasing rapidly in metropolitan areas. In addition to their retail outlets, these newly designed, well-kept shopping centers offer facilities that enable people to pursue leisure activities and engage in social interaction. The study demonstrates that Turkish people using shopping centers as a private public space (community space) rather than simply a shopping space. To explore this phenomenon, we researched the activities and characteristics of a centre that attracts mostly Turkish people. To explore their implications for different centre characteristics and activities, user characteristics, such as gender, age and occupation, were investigated via survey and interviews. A field survey was carried out in EGE Park Mavi ehir shopping centre in Izmir, the third largest city in Turkey. The centre is in a suburban area that was recently established as a highincome housing settlement. The results of statistical analysis of the data show that shopping centers corporate community space functions in, and attracts their users especially teenagers for its physical attractiveness, entertainment and leisure facilities and social interaction more than the shopping activities.

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