Politics of the Space,
Large cities in developing countries have been commodified and privatised since the last 20 years and are seen as a commodity; and urban land, in this case, urban public spaces have experienced a great change towards most profitable use, as private interests taking over public and its spaces (Low, Smith 2006; Oc, Tiesdell 1999; Minton, 2006; Nemeth 2009) and some become “publicitised private spaces” (Banerjee, 2001, 12). These changes, while placing politics in the interest of economic benefit, not only generated a spatial transformation but also created another process of social impacts. Thus, the production of those spaces (Lefebvre, 1991) and the private-public, and power relations (Killian, 1998; Hillier, 2002) gain more importance as these relations shape/re-shape the spaces and effects the consumption of those as well. Within this regard, the nature and relationship between public-private sector in the socio-spatial production and management of built environment has been changed. As a result of this change, the nature and conditions of the public space are changing, and shopping malls/centres have been standing as one of the clear example of this and new additions to the urban space.
This on-going research mainly focuses on the contemporary public spaces (CPS) where the public private relations have been changing towards the production of public space by bringing along socio-spatial changes (Madanipour, 1995; Carmona 2010; Carmona, Megalhaes, Hammond 2008; Nemeth 2009). The study is based on the analysis of shopping malls with a case study in Ankara where the shopping malls have emerged significantly and gained great importance in terms of city’s politics and economics, particularly through the change that they have experienced during the production (planning, ownership, investment, development) (Tokatli, Boyaci, 1998) and also have had significant effect on its built environment and public and way of living (Erkip, 2005; Aksel, 2005). Accordingly, this research is concerned about the power relations between different agents (public sector, private sector and the public itself) in relation to publicness and privateness phenomena (Benn, Gaus 1983, Akkar Ercan, 2010) and its effect to the built environment and the social life. This research uses multiple case studies as a research strategy and qualitative research methods are conducted such as interviews, observation, informal interactions and archive.