عنوان مقاله [English]
Today, Shopping centers are considered as significant urban amenities whose most important feature is to provide a "place" that are used for production purpose in some societies and with consumption purpose in some others. A deep scrutiny in the history of these shopping centers reveals their cultural origins of their formation during modernity; a course that configured different segments of urban life in isolation. The first shopping centers were built in suburban areas which attracted citizens not only for leisure and shopping purposes, but also for dwelling in suburbs. Gradually, with the advent technology, the second generation of these buildings acquired their own style of architecture and became design subjects for architects.
As a result of suburbanization, the government and the urban managers were made to locate the third generation of these shopping centers into central city districts. This solution aimed at solving the problems of suburbanization with certain mechanisms; and consequently the shopping centers were relocated in central parts of the cities. However, with their modernist origins, the shopping centers were influenced by technological advancements, and influenced their surroundings at the same time. These centers are criticized due to distortion of local businesses, the abolishment of indigenous identities and various subcultures as a result of modernity.
Although the advancement and development of shopping centers are considered as a process of globalization in the international community, it should be noted that commercial centers did not initiate the international business in the world. Trading has been long practiced in big urban markets, the routes of international convoys and chain stores, from ancient Greece and Middle East to the modern era. Today, commercial centers are considered as important means of urbanization due to their various social and cultural aspects. The transformation of the public shopping area into a closed private space, the creation of social and cultural events, the formation of social norms and the configuration of modernism symbol are the various aspects of these centers. Hence, it should be noted that not only are shopping centers a part of urban landscape, but also they configure urban landscape; presenting a new style of architecture, changing the consumption and society norms and becoming an integral amenity of the city.