- Outlet City Metzingen - an urban cultural identity based on consumption    click here to open paper content228 kb
by    Mateus, Ana | mateus@riehle-partner.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
During the last years Metzingen has become known for its outlet shops that completely replaced the old town as city centre. Its modern and innovative architectural forms have given a new identity to this city of 25,000 inhabitants, an identity based on consumption.
Integrated economy, Globalisation, Social integration, multicultural society, are all more or less generic terms to witch all of us at one point or another have stumble upon.
But how does it apply to the city? What is an integrated city? What role do city planners and architects play that makes it more or less integrated? And also very important is - what do people look for in the cities?
In a world converging to the globalisation, culture and locus acquire another meaning. And it is for planners to be aware of the constant changes and different nuances in people demands for living, working, shopping, relaxing (...).
In the last few years a new phenomena has become more evident among small/medium sized cities: the “Thematic city”, or an attempt of some cities to specialise themselves in one “function”, in a way to find their own place in a more demanding and competitive world.
In Germany we can name some examples: Baden-Baden is known for its casinos and baths, Tübingen for its universities and Metzingen for its outlets.
Taking the example, Metzingen is a city whose centre is now the whole complex of outlet shops. There is nothing so democratic like consumption, and provably no other matter would bring such a variety of people together like shopping! In view of this “thematic city” phenomena, we intent to study its nature and how does it contribute (or not) to an integrated urban environment were the needs of both inhabitants and visitors can be satisfied. What is the role of such cities in the broader pictures of the Baden-Wurttemberg region, the country and the central European context?
''Theam city'' - create an identity based on consumption thru strong architectural immage
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