The Impact of the Specific Elements of Globalization on the Spatial Structure of Lithuanian Towns and their Valuation
Keywords:aesthetics, architecture, identity, globalization, town
AbstractProcesses and occurrences in the world are becoming more and more globalized and that is reflected in Lithuanian towns as well. Depending on scale of globalization, towns take new expression with unified symbols, the uniform elements of urban space, separate objects, networks, etc. These objects mainly are dedicated to develop the spheres of services and commerce. Very often these objects and their networks do not take into account place and do not reflect its singularity, but only form and expand unified symbols of their own. In such way urban localities, where these objects are developed, are decreased and belittled. Unified view usually does not take into account exceptional current urban, architectural, natural, landscape and identity conditions. Paper analyses current situation of these globalization elements, their meaning to the landscape and spatial structure of Lithuanian urban spaces. New constructions confirm characteristic feature for nowadays globalization: territories of historic urban structures and their synthesis change all the time. Urban environments are shaped by maintaining specific existing identity roles and further developing the town that is formed by global processes that stimulate changes of its identity. Size of new constructions and quality of architectural-urban solutions that are based only on economic aims, show the weakness of urban thought and understanding of globalization, weak abilities to request possibilities that are given by globalization to cherish town identity but not to suppress it. Under conditions of globalization it is important that towns could save the most important – national and regional identities. After that they should save local identity, natural surroundings, town silhouette, form, and architectural character. Analyzing Lithuanian towns and clear reflections of globalization in their spatial structure, there could be consumption culture excluded as separate expression that alters the identity of cities and towns with global elements. During Lithuanian cities and towns identity research it was established that the identity and local architecture were saved mainly by creating small shops that do not require huge spaces and there are possibilities to organize them in existing reconstructed buildings. Such types of “shops near home” quite often are organized in existing buildings, and from outside they might be recognizable by names or logos. Huge shopping centers are usually organized in new big buildings, where besides shopping people can find other services or entertainments. These buildings usually are standardized, very similar in their form and architecture, minimally adapted to urban surrounding, they do not reflect, continue and form local architecture traditions, townscape, aesthetic view, but destroy it.