Department of Architectural Design Kharkiv National University of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Modern shopping centers are large multifunctional buildings with complex
internal structure. Their impact on the urban environment and its processes is significant.
Sociological research enables more accurate positioning of the social and cultural content of
the building for the groups of its intended visitors. Recent research in the field of the design
of shopping centers (Beyard, 2006) advises architects to pay special attention to measures
allowing the involvement of the urban population in determining the qualities of a planned
building, which should be aimed to become a part of local urban life. Sociological surveys
are often used to analyze the qualities of shopping centers (Teller, 2008; Teller and Elms,
2012; Stillerman and Salcedo, 2012).
The article is dedicated to an online survey of visitors to five shopping centers in
Kharkiv, in order to determine their motives, circumstances and length of visit, as well as
factors important for their perception and patronage of shopping centers in general terms.
The results of the online survey indicate respondents’ interest in different qualities of
shopping centers as well as opportunities not implemented in their solutions. Among them is
the use of planning structure with a mix of enclosed and open green spaces, creation of buffer
spaces, a more expressive, unique architectural image that involves regional specifics and
narratives. Respondents' answers indicate the relevance of the interpretation of a shopping
center as part of the urban environment, designed as an element of a common system of
adjacent public facilities. Exclusion from the urban environment can be understood as one
of the reasons for the low attendance of shopping center "Magelan", demonstrated in the
survey. The noted difference in the ways of using shopping centers supports the need for
differentiation of their types, which has not yet been implemented in Kharkiv.

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