AN INVESTIGATION OF USER PREFERENCES ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE-PUBLIC SPACES

Abstract

Author(s): B. Ece ?AH?N T羹lin VURAL ARSLAN

After the second half of 20th century there have been dramatic changes in both urban life and urban space under the forces of globalisation. Changing production and consumption relations, rising suburban settlement patterns and changing lifestyle understandings have been the major impulsive forces behind this transformation of the cities. This transformation of the cities have changed the expectations from public life and public spaces. Increasing privatization, increasing surveillance and increasing use of the design themes have defined the new characteristics of public spaces. In this environment, shopping malls appear as new public spaces as an alternative to open-air public squares. Despite of perceived illness of the Turkish cities, urban open spaces still atractive places for urban life in Turkey. The focus is this study is to evaluate and compare the general and local attributes behind the attractiveness of the urban squares and shopping malls as the social and urban centers for Turkey. In this study, these attributes are investigated and analyzed through an empirical study in three different public places in Bursa; first an urban square in the city center,second an inner-city shopping mall complex having a huge urban square in front and last an out-oftown enclosed shopping mall. In the context of this survey, open-interview method is used in order to evaluate these attributes through the eyes of the visitors of these public spaces. This study reveals seven common attributes about the attractiveness behind the open-air squares and shopping malls from the visitors’ perspectives like “accessibility, comfort, diversity, urban furnitures, security, hygiene and services”. Authors of this study believe that clarifying and comparing the expectations and perceptions of the visitors of both malls and squares can be helpful to shed valuable insight to studies on healthier development of Turkish public spaces.

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