Centra handlowe jako przestrzenie hybrydowe
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Public spaces understood as areas which can be accessed freely and which offer freedom of behaviour and speech have always been an important element of any city or town. Shopping malls enter urban landscape often becoming city landmarks, thus, competing with traditional public spaces. In terms of qualitative criteria, they function well as public spaces but at the same time those areas include numerous limitations which prevent them from being real public spaces. Within the public-private dimension, they constitute transitional hybrid spaces with the features of a proper public space. Shop-ping malls focus important social functions, thus, replacing or “relieving” traditional public spaces in city centres. One must remember, though, that their public character is severely limited (time, offer, staff, behaviour, social, or political limitations) which is why it is difficult to consider shopping malls as classic public spaces. Because of the role of those modern shopping and service spaces it is necessary to try and place shopping malls in relation to urban public spaces. The goal should be to define certain relations between traditional public spaces and hybrid spaces (including the areas of shopping malls) in order for them to benefit the inhabitants and to help improve the functioning of cities or towns. The fact that shopping malls have, to a large extent, substituted public spaces, that they are visited often, that they are the place where people spend a considerable amount of their free time and that they are considered by the population as important locations in people's lives seem particularly important.
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