The Problematic of the Gradual Transition of Urban Spaces into “Non-Places: the Urban Squares of Antalya (Turkey)”

Sadik Gokhan Ekinci, Kemal Reha Kavas


During the 20th century, where modernist design approaches had been determining factors, the concept of “place” had a significant place in the literature of architecture and urban design. For this reason, this concept, which has been elaborated by philosophy, sociology, anthropology and ethnography, has also been important from the viewpoints of architecture and the city. The definition of “place” has represented characteristics specific to a certain location on the globe, therefore it has been a requisite for the sense of spatial belonging. Whereas, the objectives of the industrial revolution and modernism, which are oriented towards mass production and standardization, have validated the independence of the individuals and processes of spatial production from the specificities of place. These changes led to the emergence of the concept of “non-place.” This new concept, which should be interpreted as the antonym of place, signify spaces which are dissociated from the geographical, climatic and cultural characteristics of place by destroying the sense of spatial belonging. Airports and shopping malls may be considered as examples. Today, it is observed that individuals are gradually distancing themselves from urban spaces by being attracted by special areas with the procedures of security. It can be argued that urban squares, which no longer produce social and spatial belonging and which are used by less people, have been transformed into “non-places”. Some of these spaces may lose the character of “place,” which they possess historically, and some may be devoid of the conception of place starting from their design till their use. During the transition of urban spaces into non-places, problems of design and loss of the sense of belonging play significant roles. This study analyses the above-mentioned problems by comparing the selected urban squares at the city center of Antalya. In this framework analyses are made with respect to the human and urban scales. The study unfolds and interprets the negative and positive aspects regarding the production of the characteristics of “place”.

Keywords: City, square, place, non-place, modernism, Antalya.

DOI: 10.7176/JSTR/5-12-29

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ISSN (online) 2422-8702