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To the rhythm of shopping—on synchronisation in urban landscapes of consumption

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This article deals with the impact of retail rhythms on urban life and urban landscape, with a special focus on tendencies toward synchronisation. The article is divided into three sections. First, the history of synchronisations in public space is traced, and it is argued that the retail business has become an increasingly important actor in the production of urban temporal landscapes. Second, six different types of spatial synchronisation are discussed, derived from studies of the city of Malmo, Sweden. Finally, I discuss the problems associated with increased spatial synchronisation, as imposed by retail businesses, on public life and space, arguing that urban synchronisations might lead to isorhythmic tendencies and a decrease in the territorial complexity of public space.

Keywords: landscapes of consumption; public space; rhythmanalysis; territoriality

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Architecture and Built Environment, LTH, Lund University, Lund, Sweden,

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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