The technical practices of planning and urban design tend to reproduce the component elements of settlement diffusion according to hypostatised frameworks. Shopping centres - those new places of social aggregation - form a local network of functional attractors that interacts with the infrastructure systems and with the historical centres in diffused settlement patterns. The hypothesis underlying experimental planning is the upending of Koolhaas’s assertion ‘City = Shopping’. In theory, a multicentre network of shopping centres can represent a system of new nuclei around which the urban sprawl can condense, in which, suitably hybridised, they act both as hubs of settlement densification and new public spaces within it.
Keywords: Urban sprawl; network; architecture