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Gezgin, U. B. (2011). Spatial identity formation: How urban planning and economics are forming Asian urban identities? (Paper presented at the International Conference on Asian Identities: Trends in a Globalized World. 9-11 February, 2011 Bangkok, Thailand.)
Spatial Identity Formation: How Urban Planning and Economics Are Forming Asian Urban Identities?
Dr. Ulas Basar Gezgin, PhD,
Most of the Asian cities are characterized by a rapid shift from primary sector to secondary, tertiary and quaternary sectors. The economic development dictates the form of the city and the form of the city constrains or allows economic development which exhibits the bidirectional relationship between economic development and the form of the city. Unlike many European cities, high rise buildings are considered to be the symbol of ‘modernity’, ‘civilization’ and wealth in the Asian sphere. Thus signature buildings have had priority over other projects. The postcard images of Asian cities are changing by the introduction of high-rise buildings in the urban skylines. These rather than historic heritages are the catching images of Asia by the rapid economic growth. On the other hand, economic sectors dictate the shape of the city as well: High-rise buildings are desired by the large multinational companies for prestige and professional convenience. They are often considered to be a way to attract foreign investment by the city governments. Asian world cities are no longer considered as cities of factories or export processing zones, but as a constellation of office spaces. Factories are moved out of the cities or smaller cities in many cases. Besides commercial uses as office space, hotels or shopping malls, high-rise buildings serve residential uses as the increasing number of high-rise apartments and service apartments would point out. In this context, this paper discusses the rise of high-rise buildings in the era of Asian growth phenomenon, and how they serve to forge an urban identity for the Asian geographies.