CONFERENCE: High Streets - Missing Formula in the City Centers. Quest for shared Vision - by Bose International

High Streets - Missing Formula in the City Centers. Quest for shared Vision


“Shopping experience” is not and never was about buying things only. It was always much more. It was assisting us from the very beginning of human interactions. People were selling, buying and exchanging goods in the ancient times and these forms of interaction are with us today. Trading goods in the cities, villages and settlements were accompanied with entertainment and excitements unique for respective civilizations and cultures. The excitements of traditional marketplaces, busy souks, bazaars and bustling commercial streets of old European towns are vivid examples of expression of human interactivity and social nature.


What this has to do with today ambiance and nature of city public spaces?


Well, it is the same, but the scenery and scenography of this activity is constantly changing and adapting to the so dramatic changes within our material and spiritual civilization. While the globalization is metaphorically shrinking our world, we are losing our distinctive cultural identities. Our cities and towns, streets and plazas are looking increasingly similar to each other. The commercial business models translated into template of planning formulas are shaping buildings and new developments. The naturally evolved and centuries old urban fabric is replaced by replicated massive structures expressing today’s retail formulas and planning conditions. This evolution offers also great opportunities. While creating modern retail structures in response to commercial expectations, creative planners, architects and investors can draw the inspirations from the past and still apply the most contemporary progressive and socially attractive design models.


The High Street retail model, while composed of international and local brands could develop well within the local context creating unique character and ambiance. The development of modern Mixed Use, Retail based models, placed within the city centers may have constructive contribution to the local urban and social environment. Both models can add positive and locally specific dimensions to the evolving urban structure. The responsibility for this to happen is in the hands of commercial investors, city administration bodies and designers. It is their unique privilege and responsibility to apply their talents and expertise to consolidate and translate various expectations into the lively, exciting places with local flavor and ambiance. The brief should stress development integration within its surrounding context, the positive urban contribution and site specific individuality. The commercial and public expectations while a must to meet should not relieve the designers from searching and applying for creative, sensitive architectural and urban response.


“High Streets - Missing Formula in the City Centers. Quest for shared Vision”

 January 14, PROM Kultury Saska Kępa

 23 Brukselska str., Warsaw

 On behalf of: Marek Tryzybowicz and Bose International Planning and Architecture Team