INFLUENCE OF GLOBALIZATION ON CITIES AND URBANISTIC POSSIBILITIES OF ITS OPTIMIZATION IN KAUNAS CITY CENTER (Globalizacijos iitaka Miestams IR Jos optimizavimo Urbanistines Galimybes Kauno Centre)
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Globalization, prevailing trend of development of contemporary societies, inevitably influences visual and social aspects of cities. Changes of cities influenced by globalization are usually associated with increasing uniformity of residential environment, decline of public spaces, fragmentation and commercialization of urban environment. Decline of traditional territorial communities, suburbanization, gentrification, and stratification are also observed in urban societies. These processes not only influence quality of life in urban territories, but also their visual characteristics. Changes of urban environment and societies influenced by globalizing processes strongly affect city's historic environment. Striving towards sustainable development of cities it is necessary to analyze the impacts of globalization on urban environment, historic centers and districts and to search for possibilities to use its social and economic benefits and to avoid its negative influence on city's identity and society. The influence of globalizing processes on cities, their historic environment and societies is discussed in the paper and the proposed model for optimization of the influence of globalization on historic environment with urban design means is presented. The proposed model is applied to Kaunas historic center.
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